The Restaurant Experience

Craving Something Different? Try Some Suya

If you are looking for a new and tasty culinary experience, visit authentic Nigerian restaurants whenever possible. The distinct diet and unconventional proteins of the West African and Muslim diet create a meal unlike other ethnic fare. One African dish that you must try is traditional Suya. Suya comes in various presentations and applications, but know that it is spicy, savory, and flavorful.

Craving something different? Give Suya a try.

Suya Source

Spicy Suya fare comes from the northern region of Nigeria, where the culture is prevalently Muslim. The dietary restrictions and prohibitions of this religion make it necessary for special meat preparations, which inspires this spiced skewered meat. Suya can also be dried, like a jerky, and is called 'kilishi."

Suya Skewers

So, how exactly is Suya prepared? Suya are spiced skewers of meat, usually beef, chicken, or ram, but also organ meats and tripe may be used. The meat is sliced thinly rather than in larger chunks, and is marinated in special spices, salt, and oil before being cooked over an open flame or grill. The Suya is typically served with additional dried peppers and cooked onions.  

Standard Sides

What will you eat with your Suya skewers? If you dine in a traditional West African restaurant, standard side dishes for Suya include tomatoes, cucumber slices, cabbage leaves, and extra peppers and onions, as mentioned. Contemporary eateries often offer potatoes or rice with the skewers for a complete meal.

Street Food

Though Suya is a traditional meal among the Nigerian people, it is also a trendy and modern street food in many nations. Some unique variations include marinating the meat in highly acidic stewed tomatoes to tenderize the beef. You may also see Suya served with grilled plantains for a sweet note to this usually savory dish. African chefs also often garnish their dishes with a sprinkling of their own Suya spice blend for a bit of color on the plate.

Suya Spice Blend

Wondering what exactly is in this mysterious Suya spice mix? Actually, it is not that difficult to recreate the spice blend recipe at home, though you may have to substitute a couple ingredients in the US. Many westernized recipes include peanut flour, cayenne, paprika, ginger, garlic, African nutmeg, African pepper pod seeds, Selim pod grains, which are very difficult to find in this country but that can be substituted with star anise.

Not feeling the same old fare? Shake things up a bit with some traditional Suya. Whether enjoying Suya spice on your chicken or a Suya tripe skewer from your favorite authentic restaurant, Suya is a great way to bring some heat and pizzazz to mealtime. Visit West African restaurants in the region or for authentic cuisine with culinary flair!