Suya is an African roasted skewered meat (or an African shish kebab if you want) with a particularly African twist: a peanut-spice rub. Suya originated with the Hausa people who leave in the Northern region of Cameroon and Nigeria, and grew to be are popular all over Nigeria and Cameroon. In big cities and small towns, the suya vendors at their pits (grills) are at the center of the action, and they are busy from mid morning until late at night. Suya are usually made with beef, sometimes chicken or veal is used. Suya can be made with just meat, ground peanuts, and cayenne pepper, but more elaborate spice mixtures are also used. Use any other spices as you like.
- 3 teaspoons finely ground roasted peanuts
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper, or red pepper flakes (use more for hotter results or replace this with another teaspoon of paprika for milder results)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
- a pound or two of meat (beef, chicken, etc.), cut into bite-sized pieces
- onion, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
- tomato, cut into chunks (optional)
- sweet green or red pepper, cleaned and cut into chunks (optional)
Prepare the raw meat
Make the soya spice
- Make the ground peanut powder:
- Remove shells and skins from roasted peanuts, if necessary.
- Grind the peanuts into a fine powder (briefly pound them in a mortar and pestle, crush them with a rolling pin or use a food processor). It is important that you grind the peanut into is a powder and not an oily paste. If the peanut powder is oily, wrap it in absorbent paper (paper towel) and squeeze for a minute or two.
- Stir the spices into the powder, mixing well.
- Divide the peanut-spice mix into two parts, putting half in one bowl and half in another.
- Use one bowl to dip the meat and coat it, the other bowl should be used while the meat is being grilled.
- Prepare the spiced meat
- Dip and roll the meat in the other bowl of the peanut-spice mix, making sure the meat is completely coated.
- Allow meat to marinate for thirty minutes or more. (Get the outdoor grill going or pre-heat the oven while you are waiting).
- You can place the meat on skewers (alternating with the onion, tomato, and sweet pepper, if desired) to make handling them easier while cooking.
- Broil in a hot oven, or grill over hot coals, until meat is done. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Serve immediately with the reserved peanut-spice mix, for sprinkling or dipping as desired. (Do not use the mix that came into contact with the raw meat.