Soya or Suya is a traditional and popular West African kebab that’s packed full of smoky, nutty and peppery flavour from a peanut-based spice mix. This recipe is inspired by a Cameroonian Soya – the Nigerians tend to add ginger to their “Suya” so feel free to do this if you wish. Delicious served with a fresh tomato salad or try with fried plantain and rice. You can swap the meat for chicken or use chunky cut vegetables if you prefer.
- For the Kebabs
- 750g sirloin steak, cut into 2.5cm cubes
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp liquid seasoning (or dark soy sauce)
- 3 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
- 100g roasted unsalted peanuts (or almonds)
- 1 tbsp onion powder or 1 ½ tbsp onion granules
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp mild chilli powder
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper powder (more or less to taste)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- For the Tomato Salad
- 3 large ripe vine tomatoes, cut into wedges
- ½ cucumber, cut into slices
- ½ red onion, finely sliced
- 1 small green chilli (optional), seeds removed, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- juice of ½ lemon
- To Serve
- warm pitta or flatbread
- lemon wedges
Place the peanuts in a food processor or coffee grinder and pulse a few times until they are finely chopped. Be careful not to grind them to a paste. Place in a bowl with the onion powder, paprika, cayenne, chilli powder, allspice and salt and pepper and mix well.
Place the meat in a bowl and add the oil, liquid seasoning and garlic. Mix well. Sprinkle over three quarters of the spice mix and toss to coat well. Cover and leave to marinate for an hour or cover and chill to marinate for longer if you have the time.
When ready to cook, thread the beef onto skewers and drizzle with a little oil.
Heat a griddle or frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 10-12 minutes or until cooked to your liking, turning until lightly charred on all sides. Alternatively preheat the oven to 200C/180Cfan/Gas 6 and place the skewers on a foil-lined baking tray, drizzle with oil and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked to your liking, turning half-way.
Meanwhile, place the tomatoes, cucumber, onion slices, chilli and coriander in a bowl and toss together and season with salt. Squeeze over some lemon juice to taste.
When the kebabs are cooked, sprinkle over some of the remaining spice mix. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and alongside the tomato salad and warmed flatbread.
Recipe by www.ainsley-harriott.com