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Region or stateNorthern Nigeria
Main ingredientsMeat, chicken, shrimp

Suya is a spicy meat skewer which is a popular food item in West Africa.[1] It is traditionally prepared by the Hausa people of northern Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, and some parts of Sudan (where it is called agashe). Suya is generally made with skewered beef, ram, or chicken. Innards such as kidney, liver and tripe are also used.[2] The thinly sliced meat is marinated in various spices which include peanut cake, salt, vegetable oil and other flavorings, and then barbecued.[3] Suya is served with extra helpings of dried pepper mixed with spices and sliced onions. Halal meat preparation methods are normally used, especially in the northern parts of Nigeria,[2] where the suspicion of nonconformity to Muslim dietary prohibitions in Suya preparation has been known to cause riots.[4] A dried version of Suya is called Kilishi.[2] It can be eaten with Garri or Ogi.

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

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

Although Suya originated in the Northern parts of Nigeria, it has permeated the Nigerian society, being affordable for all and available everywhere. It has been called a unifying factor in Nigeria.[5] 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]

Suya is a mass consumer fast food, called a street food[6] because preparation and sales are often done in small stalls along local streets, sometimes under dubious hygienic conditions.[7] Concerns have been raised about the hygienic standards of processing and safety of roadside Suya.[8] Suya is normally sold wrapped in old newspaper which has been criticized for serving as a possible source of contamination.[9] Tapeworm (Taenia saginata) from infested beef has been found to survive the temperatures used in preparing Suya and remain viable to infect humans.[10] Cases of Haemolytic anaemia have been described after ingestion of Suya, possibly as a result of adulteration of food additives.[11]

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  1. ^ EKE, IRABOR ,OKOYE; et al. "THE MICROBIAL STATUS OF COMMERCIAL 'SUYA' MEAT PRODUCTS IN EKPOMA, EDO, NIGERIA" (PDF). International Journal of Community Research. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Agence France-Presse (22 May 2012). "Nigerian roadside barbecue shacks thrive in the midst of Islamist insurgency". The Raw Story. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  3. ^ EGBEBI; SEIDU. "Microbiological evaluation of Suya (dried smoked meat) sold in Ado and Akure, South West Nigeria" (PDF). European Journal of Experimental Biology. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  4. ^ Jacobs, Alan (18 January 2008). "Suya Wars". First Things. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  5. ^ GAMBRELL,, Jon (24 November 2012). "Suya, the thin-sliced spiced meat, unites Nigeria". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  6. ^ Ekanem, Etok O. (August 1998). "The street food trade in Africa: safety and socio-environmental issues". Food Control. 9 (4): 211–215. doi:10.1016/S0956-7135(97)00085-6.
  7. ^ R.E. Uzeh, R.E. Ohenhen & O.O. Adeniji. "Bacterial Contamination of Tsire-Suya, a Nigerian Meat Product" (PDF). Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 5 (5): 458-460, 2006. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  8. ^ Obadina, A.O.; Oyewole, O.B.; Ajisegiri, O.A. (December 2013). "Identification of Hazards and Critical Control Point (CCP) for "Suya" Processing in South-West Nigeria". Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. 38 (5): 2057–2060. doi:10.1111/jfpp.12183.
  9. ^ Apata, E. S.; Kuku, I. A.; Apata, O. C.; Adeyemi, K. O. (24 January 2013). "Evaluation of Suya (Tsire) – An Intermediate Moisture Meat Product in Ogun State, Nigeria". Journal of Food Research. 2 (1): 87. doi:10.5539/jfr.v2n1p87.
  10. ^ Mosimabale, FO; Belino, ED (Dec 1980). "The recovery of viable Taenia saginata cysticerci in grilled beef, "suya", in Nigeria". International Journal of Zoonoses. 7 (2): 115–9. PMID 7251255.
  11. ^ Williams, CK; Osotimehin, BO; Ogunmola, GB; Awotedu, AA (Jun 1988). "Haemolytic anaemia associated with Nigerian barbecued meat (red suya)". African Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences. 17 (2): 71–5. PMID 2843020.

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