Suya…The African Love For Meat.
We are about to have a Happy New year while serving up some Suya! There is this universal love for Suya amongst Africans that just warms my heart. At first, I thought it was more of a Nigerian thing, until I started seeing Ghanians and Kenyans making suya.
Suya is a form African street food in form of a kebab which is seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices. The meat is seasoned with the spices; then grilled over an open flame. The meat, when done is usually crispy on the outside and tender/juicy on the inside with the spices infused into every grain of the meat.
Let me digress a bit here.
There is something about meat that seems to make the average African happy and giddy with joy. It is supernatural! Living in Nigeria for example, you could see people spending time at different ‘joints(a small make shift restaurant that specializes in finger foods and alcohol). Individuals spend time with friends at these places; having what seems like a serious conversation about politics, soccer and sometimes marriage and religion. These conversations are usually done over bottles of beer and trays of meat. From peppered snails to Suya and roasted spicy chicken. You could see in these restaurants, different people from all walks of life. Men with their “babes” in tow, munching away at some type of peppered meat or chargrilled suya…smiling, love and laughter in the atmosphere with a good bottle of Heineken stirring their conversations.
Generally, Africans love meat…(Please allow me generalize on this one) 🙂 There were times when you had to have someone special like a person with vast knowledge about these delicacies cook these “not everyday” delicacies for you, but these days people make these foods by themselves and in their own kitchen and some with recipes in follow(refer to photos above). For example, we no longer have to hire a Mai-Suya to make us suya especially for parties. We can now buy a tender cut of meat and make our own suya. And thanks to our Mai-Suyas, we now have recipes for the yaji powder; which can also now be made fresh and to order in our homes.
Along with this post, I’ll be sharing a very simple recipe for Suya below; which you can always try at home.
Ingredients: A tender cut of beef, Suya spices, oil, salt, bouillon, smoked paprika(optional), skewers(soak in water for 1-12 hours to prevent burning during cooking) and oil.
Wash and pat meat dry, then cut into sizes big enough for the skewers. Rub the oil into the meat. Season with salt, bouillon, smoked paprika(if using) and the suya spice. Let it marinate for about 1-12 hours while the skewers remain soaked.
Fire up your grill; then thread the meat on to the skewers and grill. Whilst the meat is cooking, mix some of the suya spice powder with some oil and baste the meat occasionally until cooked through. Serve with tomatoes and onion 🙂