Place of originNigeria
Region or stateWest Africa
Main ingredientsMeat, chicken, shrimp
Variations(Kilishi, Balangu)

Suya is traditional smoked spiced meat skewer which originates from Nigeria, and is a popular food item across West Africa. Suya is a large part of Hausa culture and food and is traditionally prepared and made by Hausa men, thus called 'Mai nama'.[1] Suya is generally made with skewered beef, ram, or chicken. Organ meats such as kidney, liver and tripe are also used.[2] The thinly sliced meat is marinated in various spices, which include traditional Hausa dehydrated peanut cookie called 'kwulikwuli', salt, vegetable oil and other spices and flavorings, and then barbecued. There are many variation of Suya in traditional Hausa cooking (such as Balangu, Kilishi etc..), but the most popular being suya. Suya is traditionally served with an extra helpings of mixed dried pepper, traditional hausa spices, and sliced onions. It is also traditionally served in Hausa culture with a side serving of Hausa Masa (fermented rice/grain/corn cakes). Halal meat preparation methods are normally used, especially in the northern parts of Nigeria where it originates as is customary with traditional Hausa foods,[2] where the suspicion of nonconformity to Muslim dietary prohibitions in Suya preparation has been known to cause riots.[3] A dried version of Suya is called Kilishi.[2] It can be eaten with Masa, Kosai, Garri or Ogi.

Suya seller in Abuja.
Chicken suya with jollof rice and plantains

There is no standard recipe for composing the complex mixture of spices and additives which make up the Suya marinade (called Yaji) and the spice mix served alongside it. Ingredients may vary according to personal and regional preferences.[2]

Although Suya is a traditional Hausa Nigerian dish, it has permeated the Nigerian society, being affordable for all and available everywhere. It has been called a unifying factor in Nigeria.[4] Suya has become a Nigerian national dish, with different regions claiming the superiority of their recipe and methods of preparation, but similar grilled meat recipes are common in many West African countries.[2]

See also


  1. ^ EKE, IRABOR ,OKOYE; et al. "THE MICROBIAL STATUS OF COMMERCIAL 'SUYA' MEAT PRODUCTS IN EKPOMA, EDO, NIGERIA" (PDF). International Journal of Community Research. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2021. Retrieved 5 April 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Nigerian roadside barbecue shacks thrive in the midst of Islamist insurgency". Raw Story - Celebrating 18 Years of Independent Journalism. 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2022-08-30.
  3. ^ "Suya Wars | Alan Jacobs". First Things. Retrieved 2022-08-30.
  4. ^ GAMBRELL, Jon (24 November 2012). "Suya, the thin-sliced spiced meat, unites Nigeria". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2 April 2014.