Chicken in yaji sauce (aka suya sauce)

Chicken in yaji sauce (aka suya sauce)

7-suya sauce_WM

Chicken in suya sauce? Where do you come up with this stuff? That’s what I get asked regularly. Stuff just pops into my head and from there I head off to the kitchen to test it out. This is an experiment that went soo right! If you are or have visited Nigeria then you probably at some point tried our very popular street food from the North of the country called suya. It’s grilled meat that is marinated and seasoned with a bevy of spices.  Grilled on open fires to perfection and further seasoned before being wrapped in foil along with even more spice and chopped onions and finally rolled in newspaper. It goes down well with a cold drink, especially beer. You get the picture? Normally the mallams who sell this meat give you a few extra packets of the suya spice. The real recipe is a closely guarded secret, but many a foodie has tried to break it down. Normally we discard these small extra suya spice sachets. But the question that popped into my head was why do we not use the wonderful combination of suya spices for other things? Like a sauce, for example. Hence, my experiment.

So here it is. Chicken in suya sauce, a dish that can be served with rice, yam, potatoes or enjoyed on it’s own.7-suya sauce_WM

Not sure if anyone knows the real spices mixed in suya spice other than the mallams from the North but here are the most commonly suspected.

1-suya sauce_WM

5-suya sauce_WMThis dish is really simple to make. And the taste? Oh  you just have to try it. Think of it as a Nigerian curry.
9-suya sauce_WM

6-suya sauce_WM

18-plantain cupcakes_WM

11-suya sauce_WM

12-suya sauce_WM


½ kg of chicken (or any other protein. I used chicken thighs)

1 medium sized red onion

2 cloves of garlic

240ml of coconut milk

Small bunch of fresh basil leaves

Salt and black pepper to season

1 fresh habanero or chilli pepper

200 ml water

For the suya spice mix

3 tsp finely grounded roasted peanuts

1 tsp dry chilli or cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground ginger powder (or fresh ginger finely ground)

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 tsp onion powder

2 African negro pepper pods (snapped in half)

½ tsp of salt (to your taste)


  1. First prep the chicken. Wash chicken, season with salt and black pepper, place in a pan along with half of the onion rough chopped peppers and two garlic cloves-crushed, and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes until the water in the chicken dries out
  2. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside
  3. In a small bowl, prep the suya spice mixture by mixing all the spices together along with the ground roasted peanuts. If you have leftover suya spices from your last suya purchase you can use that and skip this step.
  4. In pan used for the chicken pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer on medium heat, add in the suya spice mix and stir until well combined and the African Negro pepper
  5. Add back in the chicken (with the onions and garlic), add in the remaining half onion rough chopped and cook for 10 minutes. The sauce should cook down slightly make it slightly thick and creamy (think of a curry!)
  6. Remove from the heat, remove the African Negro pepper pods and serve with rice


  1. Nice meal. Kudos!

  2. Wow…u sure do know how to cook…pls, can i publish this on my community newsletter,i will really really really love to show my readers some of ur receipes and how-to’s..they are amazing!!!!pls can i?can i?pls,pls,pls i promise i will advertise ur blog well well!..

  3. Ooh. This is a staple of mine. Have made it so so many times including on a tv segment. I add efinrin/scent leaf at the end though. Takes this from amazing to spectacular. 🙂

  4. Vivid, hunger inducing pictures! Bold recipe. I like. There is more to Yaji than just suya 🙂

  5. This looks good and I believe it will taste very good. The spices speak for themselves.

  6. Never get tired of doing what you do, I just discovered your blog and I love it, wish there was news every single day it I know how hard that can be, … We want more of you. Don’t think we aren’t watching even though we don’t comment on every post. Lol. Pls keep it coming.

  7. It’s never too late to discover something good! Looking forward to making this. Nice job!

  8. Pingback: MOTM: University of Suya - Ikeja - My Belle Don Full

  9. Pingback: University of Suya – Ikeja – Lagos Market Stores

  10. Brenda and charles Prah

    It’s awesome my husband is a Ghanaian and I’m American we love it

  11. Charles and Brenda Prah

    My husband is Ghanaian and I’m American we love this recipe I love trying different dishes thank you so much

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


eight + one =