Living in Nigeria, one benefit of night time that we can all agree on is the mysterious appearance of the suya seller (Mallam, mai-suya… However you may refer to the culinary wizards). I personally don’t think that the clock will agree to move forward if they don’t appear.
Suya exists in many forms, from beef to chicken, and where available ram, lamb, pork and fish. It all depends on you. But for truly traditional people, when we think suya, we think beef.
So let’s get started… You will need a couple things, your meat of choice (buy enough for yourself and the passersby that might be tempted to visit), a 1/2 to 1 cup of suya spice, 1/4 cup vegetable/groundnut oil, 8-10 skewers (if you want that traditional feel of eating it off a “stick”), and 1 seasoning cube.
Firstly, you wash your meat of choice thoroughly, then you slice it into thin fillets. This should help the meat cook quickly. You can do this by hand, or ask the butcher to do it for you.
Next up, you place the meat on a skewer (if you want to), then you rub/brush the meat lightly with vegetable/ groundnut oil. You then rub the suya spice onto the meat. And finally, you let it sit/marinade for some time (an hour or thereabout should be fine).
While your meat is marinading, you can prepare your grill, make sure that it is well fed and your coals are glowing before you bring the mat over. An oven can also be used, heat the oven to between 150°C/300°F.
You then lay the meat flat on the grill, or an oven tray and let it cook, first one side then the other. You can additionally rub on more suya spice or oil while it is cooking.
Once it is cooked to your preferred level, you take the meat off and either cut it into smaller slices, or you eat it off the skewers, accompanied by red onions, extra suya spice (if you like it spicy) and at most cucumbers and tomatoes (i usually draw the line here, any extra veggies and this starts to become a salad).