These spicy peanut and spice-crusted kabobs from Nigeria are so loved in Western and Central Africa that people dance with joy when they’re served. That’s not surprising, considering the peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa (below the Sahara desert) love to dance.
African dance is closely connected to the music traditions and rhythms of Sub-Saharan Africa. Dances teach social patterns and values to help people work, mature, praise or criticize members of a tribe, village or community. Different than the dance of individuals or couples, African dance is a collective activity expressing the the life of the community. In addition, dances are largely participatory with spectators participating with the performers. Different tribes and regions all have their own dances and rhythms to communicate their history, rites of passage, marriages, birth and deaths, and just the plain joy of living.
The Kalabari of western Nigeria welcomed the Portuguese merchants of the 17th century with dances. They brought with them the ginger and peanuts which were used to create these wonderful kabobs.
Suya – Nigerian Peanut-Crusted Kabobs
- Food Processor or blender, skewers (soaked 30 minutes if wood)
- 2½ lb Beef sirloin, cut into long ¼ inch strips
- 1 cup Peanuts, roasted
- 1 tbsp Ginger root, grated
- 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 1 Chicken bouillon cube, crushed
- 2 tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1½ tsp Onion powder
- 1 pinch Salt (omit if salted peanuts used)
- In a food processor or blender, pulse peanuts until crumbled (but not a paste). Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined.
- Thread meat strips onto skewers and press peanut mixture firmly into the meat. Refrigerate the meat for 30 minutes or more to let the flavors infuse the meat.
- Place skewers on a preheated oiled grill. Cook meat for a few minutes on each side, turning just once to avoid losing some of the crust. Careful not to burn.