Do you want to know how to make suya? Suya, also known as Suya Kebab, is a beloved Nigerian street food that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people both near and far. Its irresistible combination of tender, skewered meat and a symphony of spices creates a flavor explosion that’s nothing short of addictive. Yes! Addictive I must tell you. If you taste a piece of meat, you will yearn for more.
If you are not aware, I’m happy to inform you that you can make tasty Suya (the same way the Aboki guy’s own taste) in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a novice in the world of Nigerian cuisine, this guide will walk you through the steps to create this delectable dish that reflects the rich and diverse flavors of Nigeria. Quickly, let’s delve into how to make Suya that will leave you craving for more!
What is Suya?
“Suya” is the local name for the Hausa “kebab”, “steak”, or “meat barbecue” dish. It may go by different names in various regions and languages. Here are some West African names for Suya:
- Suya (Nigeria)
- Chichinga (Ghana)
- Soyi (Niger Republic)
- Tsire (Northern Nigeria): Some Northern Nigerian communities refer to Suya as Tsire.
- Kilichi (Northern Nigeria): Kilichi is a dried and spiced meat snack that is related to Suya and is commonly found in Northern Nigeria.
- Suya Kebab: While not a West African name per se, the term “Suya Kebab” is sometimes used to describe this dish, especially when it’s prepared with skewers.
A Brief History of Suya
Suya can trace its roots back to the Hausa people of Northern Nigeria, where it is believed to have originated. The term “Suya” itself is thought to have originated from the Hausa word “soya,” which refers to skewered, grilled meat. While Suya has become a beloved dish across Nigeria, it first gained popularity in the northern regions, particularly among the Hausa and Fulani communities.
Historically, Suya was a dish associated with celebrations and special occasions. It was often prepared for weddings, festivals, and gatherings, adding a touch of festivity to these events. Over time, it made its way from the northern regions to other parts of Nigeria, and its popularity spread like wildfire.
The key to Suya’s distinctive taste lies in its marinade and spice blend. Traditionally, a mixture of groundnut (peanut) powder, and spices, is used to coat the skewered meat. This blend not only imparts a unique flavor but also adds a delightful crunch to the dish.
As Suya continued to gain popularity, it also adapted to local tastes and preferences. Today, you can find various regional variations of Suya throughout Nigeria, with different spice levels and meat choices to suit diverse taste buds.
Though it seems to begin as street food it has found it has found its way into homes and restaurants, both in Nigeria and among the Nigerian diaspora worldwide. Its irresistible taste and cultural significance make it a dish that tells a flavorful story of Nigeria’s culinary heritage.
How to Make Suya
Making Nigerian suya, also known as suya kebab, involves marinating and grilling skewered meat, typically beef. Here’s a simplified recipe on how to make Suya:
- 500g of thinly sliced beef (1/8-1/4 thin slices)
- 1/4 cup of groundnut (peanut) powder
- 2 tablespoons of ground cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Skewers (wooden or metal)
Directions on How to Make Suya
1. Prepare the Meat
If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning during grilling. After seasoning the beef with salt and chicken cubes. Add the oil and mix well, then thread the thinly sliced meat onto the skewers, ensuring they are evenly spaced.
2. Prepare the Suya Marinade
In a bowl, combine the groundnut powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, and a pinch of salt. Gradually add the vegetable oil while stirring to form a thick paste. Adjust the oil quantity to achieve your desired consistency.
3. Marinate the Meat
Generously coat the meat skewers with the suya marinade, making sure they are well covered. Allow the meat to marinate for at least 30 minutes to absorb the flavors. For best results, marinate it longer, even overnight, in the refrigerator.
4. Grill the Suya
Preheat your grill or barbecue to medium-high heat. Then place the marinated meat skewers on the grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning them occasionally to ensure even cooking. The suya is done when it is well-charred on the outside and cooked to your desired level of doneness on the inside.
Remove the suya skewers from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes. Serve the suya hot or warm, garnished with extra suya spice mix, sliced onions, cucumber, tomatoes, or as you desire.
I hope you enjoy your homemade Nigerian suya kebabs!