In the West when there’s a celebration we are served meat prepared with various cooking techniques. This can be barbecuing, grilling, pan frying or even stir-frying. Meat is also seasoned with various spices. They range from sweet and sour, jerk to curry. What about suya? Suya? Yes, suya.
Suya is West Africa’s favourite meat often marinated for several hours in local spices. There are 5 things about suya that make it unique in its preparation, delightfully addictive in its taste and a must-have during or after a good night out.
- Suya can be found in Cameroon, Niger, Ghana and some parts of Sudan but originally hails from the Northern parts of Nigeria. Suya is eaten everywhere in Nigeria and with the diversity of faiths and ethnicities in this country of over 180 million people – it has been called the unifying factor in Nigeria.
- Suya is cooked over an open fire. The fusion of the smoke, the spices and oils from the meat give it an unforgiving fiery flavour, that you would yearn to savour again and again.
- Suya paste is made using an authentic ancient recipe from the ancient city of Kano in Nigeria. This includes fresh peanuts and yaji pepper. It takes hours to marinate and the original, fresh ingredients are a must. With suya there are no short cuts and the hours of labour are always worth it.
- Suya is usually served with freshly cut onions and wrapped in newspaper. There is something authentic and enjoyable about eating suya from newspaper and not seated at a table with a plate, fork and knife.
- Mai Suya, suya sellers are usually men and they can be found on the street corner expertly slicing, grilling, and blinking from the smoke. Yes, like barbecues in the US, making suya is a man’s job.
Suya gives fierce competition to the Middle Eastern shish kebab that can be found in any corner of the globe. It’s unfortunate that the suya delicacy hasn’t made its way into the mainstream, Western restaurant dining experience. Until that day comes we will continue to enjoy this popular, affordable and delectable street food.
Photo credit https://www.vanguardngr.com