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:
Homemade Suya Spice
- ¼ cup ginger powder
- ¼ 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.
Aza Mofor says
You should package the already made spices and sell. Some of us are to lazy to do all this work, sista! Lol!
LOL! I hear you, Aza!
I hereby second Aza's motion!
Mix, package and distribute to us! Lol
This is quite easy though. E se madam Precious. (thank you Precious)
Hahahaha okay ooo. In due time, people! In due time!
It is so easy, dear. Hope you give it a try.
Aza Mofor says
Yessoooo, Bola. We'll be here customers for life
Aza, you are so serious about this oo. In due time, dear.
heroine blanche says
Thanks a lot for the recipe
I'll have to try this.
You're most welcome, Blanche!
Made some today Precious.
It tastes just like the one in Cameroon.
I was so excited.
Thanks a million my dear.
God bless you with more wisdom and ideas.
So happy to hear that, Engwari!
Thanks so much for coming back to let me know. God bless.
Thanks a lot for the recipe. But I don't have an oven. Can I use a microwave?
Hi Epolle, you mean for making suya? Sorry a microwave won't work. You either need an oven or a grill.
I HAVE TO SAY. I LOVE YOU!!!! I NEED TO MEET YOU IN PERSON. MY HUSBAND IS FROM AFRICA CAMEROON AND I AM FROM PUERTO RICO. I HAVE TO SAY THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH FOR CREATING THESE VIDEOS AND SHOWING ME HOW TO COOK. MY FIANCE AND HIS FRIENDS ARE SO IMPRESSED. MY NAME IS SAMANTHA RIVERA. I HOPE WE CAN MEET EACH OTHER IN PERSON ONE DAY. 🙂 GOD BLESS YOU
Awww Samantha! Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words. So glad to hear of how useful the blog has been to you. I hope to meet you too. Love you.
Thank you madam precious!
I'm Asian and trying to cook Nigerian food cause my boyfriend from Nigeria, this is really help me, once again thank you!
So glad to hear that, Amira. You're most welcome.
This sounds so tasty I want to make it for me as well as gift to my mom and sister but I can't find the Maggi seasoning cubes. Is there a substitute I can use for them? I have all the ingredients on had for this except the Maggi's seasoning cubes.
Hi Tricia, are you familiar with bouillon powder? You could substitute 1 cube of Maggi with 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder - I love chicken bouillon powder. Hope this helps.
Precious, that Suya spice is the icing on the cake. mine turned out great. i used crushed Kuli kuli (which i Made) in place of peanut powder. oh how i wish i up loaded the pictures. with the suya and this spice you dont need the road side suya gurus. You virtually sind halleluyah while you eat. Thanks a bunch.
Yes!!! So glad to read this, D. Thanks for sharing!
Yes! I use a powdered chicken bullion and I thought it might be a good substitute but wasn't sure. Thank you! I look forward to making this and trying it out cause it sounds delish!
It is truly delish, Tricia! Please let me know when you try it!
Finally got a chance to make this and it did NOT disappoint! YUMM!! I thinly sliced some beef and it was AMAZING! Thank you so much for posting. I'm going to share my spice mix with a friend who eats goat meat I think he will enjoy it as well.
So glad to hear that you loved the suya spice. Yes, it will be great on goat meat! Thanks for the feedback!
Thank you so much for this recipe!!! You are a lifesaver and a God sent. God bless you!
God bless you too, Ama. Thanks for your kind words!
I like to use natural ingredients if possible, So, if I use fresh ginger, garlic, and onion how do I measure them. Also, is there a good substitute for Maggi cubes? I am dying to try this recipe. Loos fantastic.
Hi Andy, the spice is a powder so not sure how fresh ingredients will work here. Perhaps you could dry them yourself and use the exact quantities mentioned in the recipe. You could substitute Maggi cubes with bouillon powder. Hope this helps.
Andy, I used an organic chicken bouillon in place of the Maggi cubes and it was great! Also if you are concerned at keeping it fresh you can get a lot of these in powdered form from Penzy's Spices, always fresh with great aroma.
Thanks for these ideas, Tricia!
I would like to make this and freeze some. How long will it keep in the freezer?
Hi Kristina, you can keep it for up to 4 months in the freezer. Be sure to put the suya spice in an airtight bag/container. Hope this helps and so sorry for the late reply.
I visited Ghana for the holidays as my husband’s family is from there. I instantly fell in love with the beef skewers at the beach! I was craving this recipe and I found yours. It turned out pretty flavorful but next time I would omit or reduce the Ginger powder... it overpowered the rest.
Will definitely make this again!
Thanks for the review, Sandra!
OMG!! I have died and gone to heaven! This is fabulous!
We are always on the look out for authentic food recipes to make at home in an area where "steak rules"!
This ones a keeper!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
(Oh dear, so many exclamation points! Haha, what can I say?)
Haha, I can feel your excitement, Tracie! Thank you so much for coming back to let me know.
3 and a half years and still using this recipe in regular rotation. My vegetarian daughter loves it on grilled paneer! We personally love it rubbed on boneless but skin-on chicken thighs! So amazing!
So glad you love it Tracie! Thanks for the feedback!
I made my water fufu thanks to you.
This makes me so happy, Mirabel! Thanks for the feedback.
Okemini. O says
We are so blessed to have people like you who could make seemingly complicated cooking very simple.
Suya is part of my life and for quite some time I have not been able to enjoy it in the land far away from home.
Now I can spend the rest of my day trying it out.
your family is blessed to have you.
Thank you so much for your kind words. So glad to be able to help!
AMAZING! Took me down memory lane to my childhood in Ghana... the best time of my life! Thnx so much for sharing. Love it ooooo xxx
So glad to take you down memory lane!
Is there an alternative if you are allergic to nuts?
Hi Erica, you could just leave out the peanut powder and use the other seasonings. It will still taste great! Reduce the amount of salt the recipe calls for so it isn't too salty.