Nigerian Local Delicacy: Suya

One of the most common delicacy out of Northern Nigeria is Suya. Not many could have tasted tuwo, dambu nama but for suya, it is a very popular delicacy all over the country. This is made from meat which is majorly beef but it could also be made from mutton, pork and other types of animal meat. It is popularly made by male northerners known as ‘Mai Suya’. They make this spicy and crunchy meat by roasting fillets of the best parts of beef at the right temperatures.

Suya is commonly sold in the night especially in the southern parts of Nigeria. The reason for this actually got me thinking and need a response (I should ask a Mai suya).

The barbecue of beef is quite good to the eyes in the dusk. Many use this as a replacement for boiled meat in their delicacy. Nigerian ladies like this delicacy, especially during dates. Have you ever tried washing it down with fruit juice? It’s so sweet. You can surely make your own suya at home by following this recipe. 


The ingredients you need for Nigerian Suya include beef (the best cut with a little fat), suya spice, groundnut oil, salt, onions, tomatoes, and cabbages. You’ll also need skewers or sticks to hold the meat.

Before making…
  • Wash the sticks to be used and then soak in water for at least 5 hours so as to ensure that the sticks do not burn during the roasting of the meat. Cut the beef into very thin fillets; Mai Suyas have a very sharp and curved knife for this purpose. The meat does not have to be long or large but small pieces.
  • The next thing to do is to thread the fillets of beef on the sticks.
  • Put some groundnut oil in a bowl, add a small quantity of salt and stir. Rub the groundnut oil on the threaded fillets of beef by using a cooking brush. This helps the suya spice to stick to the meat.
  • Using a wide plate, spread the suya spice and rub the oily threaded fillets of beef in it so that the beef takes up as much of the spice as possible. Then cover with a thin plastic film and leave to marinate for 1 hour.

The Making of Suya

  • Mai Suyas use hot air oven (barbecue) to make their suya. An oven used indoor should be grilled at 150 degrees once the beef has been marinated.
  • Place the beef flat on the oven rack and put in the oven to roast
  • Both sides of the fillets will roast for about 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  • Rub some of the remaining vegetable oil on both sides of the beef. Increase the oven temperature a bit and roast either side of the beef for 5 minutes each.
  • Your suya is ready thereafter. You can serve (optional) with chopped onions, tomatoes, and cabbages.

Enjoy your spicy and crunchy suya with a drink or with your meal. Bon appetite.

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