from: Western Africa | cooking method: broiling-grilling
Suya (sooya) are West African shish kebabs (roasted skewered meat), but with a particularly African twist: a peanut-spice rub. It is believed that suya originated with the Hausa people, but they are popular all over Nigeria. 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.
Also see: Brochettes.
What you need
- three teaspoons finely ground roasted peanuts (see below)
- one teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper, or red pepper flakes
- one teaspoon paprika
- one teaspoon salt
- one-half teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- one-half teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- one-half 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)
What you do
- 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). Be careful not to grind them into a 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. For really spicy hot suya, use more cayenne pepper -- for a milder dish, substitute paprika for some (all) of the cayenne pepper. Divide the peanut-spice mix into two parts, putting half in one bowl and half in another. Set one bowl aside.
- 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).
- Place the meat on skewers (alternating with the onion, tomato, and sweet pepper, if desired).
- 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.)
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