Tukasu (Stewed Beef With Dates) From Niger

Nigerien Entree

(Stewed Beef with Dates)


½ tablespoon yeast
½ cup warm water
1¾ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon more later)
1 pound beef chuck, round roast, or rump roast
2 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
9 dates. (If fresh, remove pits)
4 tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 tablespoons more later)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
¼ teaspoon aniseed
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1⅔ cups water

Serves 5. Takes 2 hours 20 minutes.


Add yeast and ½ cup water to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork until yeast dissolves. Let sit for 15 minutes. Add flour and ¼ teaspoon salt to medium mixing bowl. Mix with fork. Make a small depression in the middle of the flour. Pour yeasty water into depression. Knead flour/yeasty water until you get a big, non-sticky dough ball. Cover medium mixing bowl and let dough sit for 1 hour.

While dough sits, cut beef into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic cloves and onions. Dice dates and tomatoes. Add beef and 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until beef is completely browned. Stir enough to ensure even browning. Remove beef from heat.

Add 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, and onion to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add tomato paste and return beef. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Add tomato sauce, aniseed, bay leaf, cinnamon, cumin, pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1⅔ cups water to pot. Stir. Add diced dates and tomatoes. Cover stew and simmer on low heat for 25 minutes.

While stew simmers, divide the dough into 8 small dough balls. Cover with damp cloth and let sit for 30 minutes. Gently add small dough balls to pot. Simmer at low heat for another 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and gently. Remove bay leaf and serve.


1) Tukasu is a stew.

2) “Stew” is an anagram for “wets.”

3) It is also as anagram for “west.”

4) Culinary anagramists will note that stew can be rearranged to form the word “stwe.”

5) Stwe is rarely used in normal conversation.

6) Oh my gosh, there’s a bunny outside my office window.

7) Bunny wants me to tell you there’s no such word in the English. Not even in medical terminology. Which is why none of the medical TV shows even say, “stwe.”

8) Bunny also says it not a French word, a Dutch word, nor even one in Latin.

9) Why did Bunny help me with this information? Because I feed him carrots and raisins.

10) My fair city, Poway, is justly proud of its multilingual rabbits.

11) Another arrangement of stwe is “twes.”

12) Twes is the plural form of twe.

13) As in, “Shall I take two twes or just one twe to the party?

14) My word! I forget the anagram “stew.”

15) Every word is its own anagram.

16) Like “onion” is an anagram for “onion.”

17) Oh sure it’s blindingly obvious now, but did you know that before you got to tidbit 16?

18) If you know of any real anagrams for “stwe” existing in other languages, please inform me.

21) And I’ll pass on your discovery to Bunny. Bunnies devote nearly all of theirs life searching for rabbit and watching out for hawks. The only real pleasure rabbits indulge in their rare leisure moments is creating new anagrams or finding out about new ones. Bunny and I thank you in advance for your help and consideration.


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Post navigation

3 thoughts on “Tukasu (Stewed Beef With Dates) From Niger

  1. italiadiva

    21 tidbits are a lot to go through. You owe me for that!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: