Trust me when I say you need this homemade suya spice recipe in your life! Suya or soya is the quintessential West African street food that is made up of well-spiced grilled pieces of meat that are mostly placed on a skewer. In Nigeria, it is called suya, in Cameroon, it is called soya, in Ghana, it is called, “chinchinga”. In French it is called, “les brochettes”. It is also known as “beef kebab” or “kabob”. It is one of my guilty pleasures – so tasty and a little addicting.
The Hausa men who usually sell suya on the streets have had a fair share of my money. I have bought a lot of suya in my lifetime. When I moved to the United States, I had to find a way of making my eat-suya dreams a reality. So I started experimenting with making soya at home. Sometimes, I would marinate the meat with freshly ground spices and you can see how I do that in this video.
At other times, I would attempt to mimic the signature suya spice (or soya pepper) that the Hausa men who sell the BBQ meat always use. In the beginning, I was mostly disappointed with my results because the spice was not just suya-ish as I expected.
But I’m not one to give up especially when that concerns trying a new recipe. So I kept testing and tweaking until finally, I have the perfect suya spice recipe. Somebody praise the Lord!
The three main ingredients needed here are roasted peanuts (groundnuts), ginger and pepper. That together with some salt and Maggi (or bouillon powder) will give you a great suya spice. However, because I am a spice girl, I went in with some white pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. I also added some paprika for some some colour.
And let me tell you, this suya spice is soooo TASTY. When using it, you do not need to add anything to your meat. I compared it with packaged suya spice I bought from the African store and it is farrrrr better. It is fresh and full of flavour while the store-bought version is so flat and smells a little moldy. So homemade sya spice over store-bought any day!
You could use this suya spice to marinade meat, fish or chicken. It is a must-have for your kitchen shelf! If you do not want it hot, omit the hot pepper. I currently have two versions at home – the one with hot pepper and the one without. The one without is for my kids and the one with the heat is for the Mr. N and I.
I made a video in which I demonstrate how you can make your own homemade suya at home and you know, be your own spice guru! To make sure you get notified of all my cooking videos, SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel and choose to receive updates from me. That way, you can be notified right on your mobile phone each time I make a video!
Watch how to make homemade suya spice:
How to make the spice blend for a popular West African street food – roadside grilled meat.
- 1/4 cup ginger powder
- 1/4 cup peanut powder substitute with ground peanuts (groundnuts). Use a cloth to squeeze out oil from the groundnuts before use
- 2 small cubes Maggi (seasoning cube)
- 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika optional
Combine all the ingredients in a small blender cup or coffee grinder then blend them until well combined.
Pass the blend through a fine sieve.
Put in an airtight container and keep for use. You could also freeze it if you want.
Use this soya spice to rub on skewered meat before grilling or use as a marinade for chicken or fish.
I’m so happy that you are interested in making one of my recipes! If you make this, be sure to tag me in a photo on Instagram: @preciouscore or share with me on my Facebook page: Facebook.com/preciouscore.