Wednesday, 3 May 2017


I spent last night, thinking of ways to make, the best dry, natural Suya spice mix and decided to get some spices in the morning. After spending an hour  carefully selecting the best of ingredients, I left the shop empty handed as I'd left my purse at home. On my drive back home (as I made the decision not to return) I decided on improvising with the limited ingredients I had. 


Suya spice mix is a Peanut based spice mix which is popular in West Africa and used for most barbecues. It's best used with Goat meat or Beef, however it works with poultry and Vegetables as well.
When the Suya spice mix is used to marinate Meat, then chargrilled , it gives the dish a nutty and smoky taste; coupled with the added crunch from the Onions and Green peppers when added. 

Suya spice mix is readily available in most African grocers and online. 
 Find more creative ways of using Suya based recipes, here on my blog.

Suya spice mix originates from the Hausa's in both Ghana and Nigeria (known as Yaji in Hausa. Suya spice mix recipe varies from person to person, as the original recipe is fiercely guarded. This is my version which I created with the limited ingredients I had. I now have 2 different textured Suya spice mix, one for marinating and grilling and the other as a topping. Be inspired and try adding different herbs to your mix. 


300g of roasted Peanuts
20g of organic powered Ginger 
20g of garlic powder 
20g of onion powder
1 teaspoon of blended red chilli
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika 
5 strands of negro peppers
2 African nutmegs
1 tablespoon of carom seeds (optional)
1 Bouillon cube (optional)


Watch how to make Suya 

Using a pestle and a mortar grind the peanuts into a crumbly texture (as shown below) making sure it doesn't turn into a paste.

In a clean kitchen towel, add your smoothly crushed peanuts and cover completely. 

The next step is to extract as much oil from the peanuts. In a frying pan, warm the peanuts to release some of the oils (this should take about 5 minutes on a medium heat). Pour the warmed peanuts into a kitchen towel.
Place a heavy item on the peanuts for the oil extraction ( you can use a chopping board, a cast iron pan or a stone mortar). 

Remove the heavy item after a few hours. Transfer the peanuts to another clean kitchen towel. 

Cover the peanut crumble in the kitchen towel and place a heavy item of your choice on top. 
Leave this for about 3 hours and you'll have a drier peanut crumble. 
Set the peanut aside until later. 

I had to make my own ginger and onion powder for the mix, as I decided to improvise (after my shopping disappointment), however it's easier to get them from the shops. 
I loved the smell of ginger permeating the house and not so about the onions. 

If you wish to make your own powdered onion and ginger, use a mandolin cutter and thinly slice your ginger and onions. 
Use a kitchen towel to squeeze the moist from your onions. Preheat your oven to 110*c and cook for an hour. Remove from the oven, leave to completely cool down and then blend into a powder.

From the top left, Peanut, Dry onions, Dry ginger, Paprika, Red chillies, Grains of selim, African nutmeg and garlic powder 

Toast your Grains of Selim, African nutmegs and Carom seeds (optional) for about 2 minutes. Remove the seeds from the Grains of Selim and discard and reserve it's stalk.  

From the top left, Peanut, Dry onions, Dry ginger, Carom seeds, Paprika, Red chillies, Grains of selim, African nutmeg and Garlic powder 

Add everything apart from the peanuts into a blender and mix to a smooth powder. Add 200g of the peanut crumble and pulse till well combined. 

Divide your Suya spice mix in two and add the remaining 100g of peanut crumble to one part. The smooth Suya mix is idle for grilling etc and the other works perfectly as a topping. 
Reserve in an airtight container or mason jar and it should keep for 6 months. 

Suya is best with Meat, Chicken and Vegetables. A great marinade and rub for your barbecues and grills. 


There are recipes on this blog and YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa' ,where Suya has been used. 
Beef fried rice , Suya Fillet of Beef, Suya & Thyme Chicken Wings

Watch how I made Suya curry, on ITV, This Morning.

Be inspired to try the recipe and leave comments with your feedback.
All photos are by the owner of this blog. 


  1. Will definitely try this out this week. Good work hun 👏 👏

    1. Thank you and please leave a review when you try the recipe. Enjoy!

  2. Oh thanks! I love this! I never thought to make suya from scratch... Not that I knew how :/

  3. I'm Defo trying this recipe out, the last time I did Suya spice from scratch was missing out on a lot lol 🙊...Thanks for this

  4. I agreed, getting the balance right on suya sauce (powder) need special attention but Ndudu-By-Fafa as usual made it easy to follow

    Thank you

  5. Fafa pls could give us the local (Ghana) names for your spices pls pls in all your recipes. I follow you from Ghana. You are doing an amazing job.