Mullah Tagalia – Red Stew – ملاح تقلية

A thick stew made of ground or minced beef in a rich tomato sauce.

Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

Pantry Ingredients: fried onion, (optional: sharmoot – dried ground meat)

Special Utensils: mufraka, stirring utensil

Serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons fried onions, ground into coarse powder 
  • 100ml vegetable oil 
  • 250g finely minced beef
  • 1 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1L tomato juice – blended 
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ground okra


To a large pot on low to medium heat, heat fried onion powder in oil for 1 minute while stirring . Add the minced meat and stir until all the meat has cooked evenly over 10 minutes. It should release meat juices which reduce slightly as the meat cooks and dries. Season with salt, pepper and ground coriander.

Mix in tomato paste and tomato juice and bring to a gentle boil. If you feel the tomatoes are too thick, add approximately 100ml water to loosen the mixture slightly. 

Reduce to low to medium heat and cover for 20 minutes, or until the stew thickens and oils rise to the surface. In Sudanese cooking, oils rising to the surface is known as, al wish – the face. Add crushed garlic and stir using either a mufraka or a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired by re-adding the seasoning.

Gradually add ground okra to thicken the mullah while constantly stirring the stew using a mufraka, traditional stirring utensil. Serve with gurrasa, kisra, asida or flatbread.


  • Use an equal amount of fried onion paste used instead of fried onion or 2 to 3 tablespoons onion powder. 
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar at the very end cancels out the acidity of the tomato juice.
  • 200g dried fish can be used instead of minced meat to make another popular dish from south western Sudan called Kajeik (see below).
  • 150g dried ground meat can be used instead of minced meat: sharmoot
  • The same recipe without using any tomato is known as mullah sharmoot abyad. 

Kajeik Instructions: 

Rehydrate the dried fish in steam or water until soft throughout then carefully remove the larger bones. Break down into small flakes either briefly in a food processor or by hand then remover the smaller bones. After caramelizing the onion in oil, add 200ml hot water and dissolve 1 teaspoon sorghum rock into the liquid then add minced dried fish, 2 tablespoons peanut butter then continue as instructed above. Alternatively, grind dried fish pieces in a food processor into a fine powder and use directly.

Did you make this recipe?

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