Nigerian Suya Spice Mix recipe (Yaji)

Suya Spice

Homemade suya spice mix

Here is a secret, the main reason why the suya spice made by your Mae- suya will always be better than your store bought mix or homemade mix……. Kuli Kuli powder, yes you heard me, no Mae-Suya makes suya spice with fresh peanut blend, there is way too much oil in fresh groundnut so kuli kuli (processed groundnut blend ) is preferred.


  • ½ cup grounded Kuli Kuli (Substitute roasted groundnut powder )
  • ½ cup Ginger Powder
  • ¼ cup Chilli Powder
  • ¼ cup Paprika Powder**
  • ¼ cup Onion Powder
  • ¼ cup Garlic Powder
  • 1 table spoon sea salt

** Paprika powder in this context is ground dried tatashe (bell pepper), very similar to ground pepper (shombo). This helps to give the suya spice a more “Red” and bright appearance instead of the dull brown color.


  • Combine all of the ingredients thoroughly
  • Store in an air tight container for future use

Making Beef Suya:

Homemade suya How to make Nigerian suyaWhat you need:

  • Beef
  • Salt to taste
  • Suya Spice Mix


Thinly slice the beef. Combine with salt and suya spice and arrange on bamboo skewers.  Grill or bake until beef is cooked through.  Serve with fresh tomatoes and onions.

Homemade Suya 1

Homemade suya 2

Homemade suya 3

Notes for Making Beef Suya:

  • The best cut of beef for suya kebab is Top sirloin or similar cuts with reasonable amount of fat (this is necessary so the meat doesn’t dry out)
  • Combine prepared meat for suya with a little salt and maggi prior to use
  • The thinner your slice your meat, the less time it needs to cook
  • If using a non-fatty cut of meat, bast the suya with some oil during the cooking process
  • You may incorporate suya spice at the start of cooking but my personal preference is midway through or at the end

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Lose It Nigerian

By |January 3rd, 2013|79 Comments


  1. Anonymous December 23, 2017 at 8:23 am - Reply

    I know this is an old post but can I just use peanut powder from a grocery store ?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 23, 2017 at 8:27 am - Reply

      Yes you can!

      • Anonymous December 23, 2017 at 5:33 pm - Reply


  2. remmy sohail March 10, 2017 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Thank you so much, learnt a lot. I even never knew what paprika was but I claim I went to school. Lol.

  3. Rebeckah January 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for the post. I am going to make this. I love how you explained the difference in the paprikas,but when you say”chilli” powder a lot comes to mind.. can you please explain .is it a specific type of ground native pepper or pepper blend.. thank you so much. I know you can help me lol..

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      chili pepper is simply ground hot pepper.

  4. Liz Smart January 16, 2016 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Following you on Instagram has helped me. I don’t struggle with what to cook. Going to try this.

  5. tolani December 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Hello thanks for this recipe..bin looking out for how to make suya spice…just that dat black pod thing called uda or something in yoruba is rili smelling nd tasting in it…is it even supposed to be there atall? Pls help me?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 22, 2015 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      Uda was only used for photography, it’s not a requirement for suya spice mix.

  6. nasir November 9, 2015 at 7:03 am - Reply

    heey i loved this topic as well i like suya .. i tryed at home i used to fry kuli kuli first with all staff then crashed and make it powder is it okay ?? pls gude me to make it properly ..stay well

    • nasir November 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm - Reply

      is it onion powder is important for suya ??

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie November 12, 2015 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      hello, do you have the option to buy premade kulikuli?

  7. ifeoma September 6, 2015 at 5:34 am - Reply

    Great site and nice recipes. just to add a little observation. the uziza seed, dont know its english name and ehuru [localnutmeg] are also key ingredients in making suya spice. welldone and Godbless.

  8. Shayo June 26, 2015 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Could I substitute the the beef with another meat or something that is not meat?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 29, 2015 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      yes. chicken, tofu and goat are great alternatives.

  9. Uzma Zahid June 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    I lived in zaria , suya was eaten at home there. I am a pakistani but consider nigeria my country. I grind together roasted groundnuts, maggi and red chilli flakes along with dry ginger powder, it gives the same amazing flavour. The less spices the better the taste. Your recipe is amazing. Thanks.

  10. Rudy June 13, 2015 at 12:28 am - Reply

    What’s in ground nut

  11. Confiance May 1, 2015 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Where can i even find kuli kuli in this Lagos? *sighs*

  12. vanessa April 7, 2015 at 4:04 am - Reply

    I need to improve in my cooking please can I get an email add from you to discuss some really important issues

  13. Ifeoma March 23, 2015 at 10:32 am - Reply

    I’m in the U.S. and I don’t think they sell Kuli Kuli????

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 23, 2015 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Most Nigerian food stores carry KuliKuli

  14. cyndi November 24, 2014 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Looks delish. I have peanut allergies; what can I use as a substitute? Thanks in advance.

  15. Lipsy August 1, 2014 at 4:37 am - Reply

    Thank you soo much for this,very helpful.Especially with the discovery of the kulikuli instead of using roasted groundnut.Can I request for how to spice and grill tilapia as I always do not get the exact taste like the ones I buy from the restaurants.Thank you soo much

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie August 2, 2014 at 8:57 am - Reply

      You are welcome. We will add a grilled fish recipe soonest.

  16. damilola balogun July 31, 2014 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Hi, what about some grounded crayfish in d mix, i have one like that n it taste so nice. i love to pour it over freshly fried meat then put them in sticks n garnish with onions n fresh pepper

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 31, 2014 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      That sounds very interesting. I don’t think I am adventurous enough to try suya with crayfish….maybe on Asun :D. Thanks for the comment.

  17. Chinedu July 17, 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Hi! I live in Houston, Texas which is a long way from the Motherland. My home is full of so much excitement and fun just because I made very delicious Suya, using your recipe. All my African-American friends are now asking for ‘my secret formula’…ha ha ha! Thank you so much!!!!!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      This is such a great feedback. Thanks and enjoy!

  18. ugochi22 June 20, 2014 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Hmmmm, nice blog. Am a foodie myself. Cooking is fun for me. I jst love trying new recipes. Keep it up

  19. Floxy June 17, 2014 at 3:30 am - Reply

    Pls how do I make powder onion? As it gets kind of rotten if kept..

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      You will have to completely dry the onion and then grind into powder.

  20. aiseosa April 5, 2014 at 10:19 am - Reply

    What are the names of the ingredients in the photo.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      All ingredients used in the spice mix are mentioned above.

  21. Claire February 21, 2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Good to be here……feels really good.. cant wait to start trying out these exciting recipes. Thanks plenty

  22. henry January 11, 2014 at 11:47 am - Reply

    This site is luvly, I’m going to try it out soon. PlsWhat is paprika and what can serve as a substitute for it in Nigeria? Pls reply

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      Paprika is mini tatashe-like pepper that has be dried and turned into powder. it enhances the color of the suya spice. you will see it where they sell grind pepper, it has a darker red color and it’s not hot.

  23. Anonymous January 7, 2014 at 6:35 am - Reply

    That was very helpful.Thanks so much, and for the quick response. 🙂

  24. Anonymous January 6, 2014 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Oh sorry, I forgot to ask; how can one keep the meat from drying out as it’s being grilled?

  25. Anonymous January 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply


    Can you please help with a point of confusion please? If using blended groundnut directly for the suya mix is less desirable than kulikuli because it contains too much oil, how come the blended, squeezed out groundnut is then fried in oil again?

    Also, what adverse effect would too much oil have on making the suya? Thanks.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      The local process of making kulikuli actually significantly reduces the oil content as it’s the traditional method of pure peanut oil extraction. Oil is used as a base to get the process started, but as more processed peanut is added excess oil is removed. Ground roasted peanut works just fine, the taste is a little different because it hasn’t gone through the extra process.
      To keep meat from drying out, local suya sellers make basting oil (oil and seasoning) and baste the meat often as it’s being grilled.

  26. ele December 9, 2013 at 10:28 am - Reply

    So lovely a recipe.trying it out 2nite. Tnks so much.

  27. Anonymous August 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Comment…wow 9jafoodiewuna de make my mouth run water woo you want to finish all the water wedey my mouth? Anywhere iam proud of you and proud to be a 9ja been my first time to visit here but realy i enjoy it i will try all goodies. Thank you.

  28. Nonye August 2, 2013 at 5:39 am - Reply

    Please what’s Paprika?

  29. Kiki May 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Can I use peanut butter powder founding health stores or organic sections?

  30. Alhasika May 14, 2013 at 4:24 am - Reply

    Oooohh lah lah! 🙂 Delicious! But for me its a litlle bit difficult to buy ingredients, I am from the Czech Republic 🙁 But it doesnt matter ! 😀 I’ll buy in London. I love african cuisine and restaurant.
    Take care and have a nice day

  31. Debbie May 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    You didn’t add the African Negro pepper known as Uda in Igbo, Chimba in Hausa and Eeru in Yoruba in the list of ingredients tho its in your picture.
    I’ll be making this soon tho. Good job

  32. JustME February 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Ok I’m not naija, but love to make your recipes…

    What is kuli kuli – I am going to make this suya mix tomorrow!
    PS. Love the new site… all my Tanzanian (yes I am tanzanian) friends use your recipes ..

  33. neesha January 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I know its always best to mix your own spices, but i was in the store (USA) and saw SUYA KHEBAB AND BARBECUE POWDER produced in ACCRA GHANA, I bought it and googled it for recipes on how to use it,I also saw sites that said that imported SUYA powder may be tainted by terrorists, I’m returning it to the store, have you heard anything about this, is there any concern, does imported foods and spices get the clear from the FDA , how does that work.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 24, 2013 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      Tainted by Terrorists? that sounds absurd to me. Most countries have several regulations surrounding imported consumer products but I do not think there is ever enough capacity to test every single product.

  34. Name (required) January 22, 2013 at 5:39 am - Reply

    I came from d old blog.. the new look is amazing **

  35. chic therapy January 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Had no idea suya powder contained Kuli kuli o.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      Yes yes yes …. that is the delicious secret 😀

  36. CoyIntrovert January 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    We bought this tasteless suya spice mix. Like very tasteless but I’d “remix” it with this recipe and let you know how it goes.
    Meanwhile if I use fresh groundnuts for this mix, do I have to put it in the fridge to preserve it?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      I will advice that you roast the peanut until really dry before you use it, also pound it instead of using a food processor. You shouldn’t have to keep it in the fridge if the peanut is dry after processing.

  37. Ade January 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    How many sticks of suya will this mixture be for?

  38. Patricia ladi vangerwua January 14, 2013 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Comment…I love everthing about d site pls keep it up.

  39. Ladi January 14, 2013 at 2:21 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I just get yaji mix sent from some ladies at my church who make them.

    Many Yaji variations also have Cloves added to the mix. I forget the Hausa name but definitely cloves.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm - Reply

      lucky you! I have to try it with cloves.

      • jdenormandie June 27, 2015 at 6:29 pm - Reply

        The clove taste comes from uda pods – they are in the picture above next to the kuli kuli, but not mentioned in the list of ingredients.

  40. Natural Nigerian January 9, 2013 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Kuli Kuli instead of roasted groundnut makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

  41. Nollywood REinvented January 9, 2013 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Oooo… love the new site look

  42. e__victor
    e__victor January 4, 2013 at 10:42 am - Reply

    I honestly never tasted the nuts in suya, now its all I’m ever gon taste 🙁

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 4, 2013 at 10:47 am - Reply

      Trust me you will not taste it…. all the other spices are more overpowering.

  43. Relentless Builder January 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Would you believe I was going to request this from you? 2013 is definitely off to a good start. *does a happy dance*

    Thanks a lot for this.

    P.S. I love the new layout, especially the slider. It gets better doesn’t it?

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