How to Make Suya Spice

Suya is a Nigerian shish kebab (roasted skewered meat), but with a particularly African twist: a peanut-spice rub. It is believed that Suya originated with the Hausa people in the Northern Nigeria, 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.


  • 3 teaspoons finely ground roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper, or red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


  1. Image titled Make Suya Spice Step 1
    Remove shells and skins from roasted peanuts, if necessary.
  2. Image titled Make Suya Spice Step 2
    Use a mortar & pestle or food processor to grind them into a fine powder.
  3. Image titled Make Suya Spice Step 3
    Add the other spices to the peanuts. Mix well.
  4. Image titled Make Suya Spice Step 4
    Divide the peanut-spice mix into two parts, putting half in one bowl and half in another.
  5. Image titled Make Suya Spice Step 5
    Use one bowl to dip the meat and coat it. The other bowl should be used while the meat is being grilled.
  6. Image titled Make Suya Spice Intro


  • For really spicy hot Suya, use more cayenne pepper -- for a milder dish, substitute paprika for some (all) of the cayenne pepper.
  • If the peanut powder is oily, wrap it in absorbent paper (paper towel) and squeeze for a minute or two.
  • Be careful not to grind the peanuts into a paste.

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Categories: Spice Mixes | African Cuisine