Sinina, a Maguindanao delicacy

Bangsamoro Halal Dish

With Maria Fhebie Ortil

At the 33rd Issue of Philippine Muslim Today, I am glad to announce that the BARMM-Cooked Halal Dishes Culinary Column is done with major delicacies of the two provinces of the Bangsamoro region the Province of Sulu where we discussed all its major food preparations like the Tiyulah Itum (Black Soup) or Tiyulah Sug, and the famed Sulu Satti. And the recent one, the delicacies of Lanao del Sur.

Hence, as we went back to Lanao del Sur, we discussed its famous condiment the Palapa and of course their delicious Piaparan na Manok including the recent Maranao adopted delicacy the Beef Rendang.

Now as we go on I would like to tackle with you the Maguindanao delicacies. For the start as I introduce to you the delicacies of this tribal group from Cotabato City and Maguindanao Province, may I discuss with you the Maguindanao SININA – a traditional Muslim delicacy that is usually served during festivities or what they normally call “Kanduli”.

Traditionally served with tenderized goat meat and served without vegetables but, to be more appealing to the young ones and those who are health conscious, one can either add potatoes or carrots.

Thus Sinina is indeed one Maguindanao cuisine made of tender goat meat. The other one is a Beef Sinina and is the Maguindanaoans local version of the Filipino’s favorite beef stew.

It is widely available in most restaurants in Cotabato City like restaurants at the vicinity of Al Nor Hotel.

Certainly one must must eat or partake Sinina when visiting Cotabato City or the Maguindanao Province.

Sinina therefore is a special Maguindanao dish specially served during Kalilang or wedding celebration and thanksgiving ceremony known as “Kanduli.”

The main ingredients of Sinina as a Maguindanao food is the meat of goat but sometimes they also used the meat of beef, the other ingredients to make a delicious Sinina is langkuwas, ginger, garlic, onion, tomato, potato, carrot, soysauce, bell pepper and coconut milk.

The Maguindanao just like the Maranao loves to add special herbs and spices to their food that’s why they also add spicy palapa in this dish, for some who doesn’t know what is spicy palapa, as we discussed before it is actually a Maranao condiment made of special spicy herbs that Maguindanao add in cooking Sinina because they like also spicy food.


500 grams either host meat or beef cubes, cleaned, drained and cut into chunks

1 – 2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 thumb size ginger, sliced thinly or langkuwas

1 medium size red onion, sliced thinly

2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 ripe tomatoes, quartered
¾ c Coconut Milk (gata)

2-3 tbsp spicy Palapa

2 medium size potatoes, chunks

1 medium size carrot, chunks

1 chives (green part only), chopped

2 – 3 tbsp soy sauce

5 – 8 bird’s eye chili, halved
Ground black pepper to taste

Additional soy sauce to taste

Chives (green part only), chiffoned for garnish


1) Heat oil in panSauté ginger, red onion and garlic. Add tomatoes. Cook until wilted

2) Add in meat chunks. Cook until it turns brown, stirring constantly.

3) Pour in Coconut Milk. Allow to simmer.

4) Season mixture with soy sauce and black pepper.

5) Adjust seasoning to taste. Stirring constantly, still allowing mixture to simmer.

6) Add in Spicy Palapa, potatoes and carrots. Mix well.

7) Simmer mixture until coconut milk thickens and sauce is reduced by over half.

8) Adjust seasoning according to taste.

9) Serve hot with rice for 4-6 persons.

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