My chosen dish for Joan's last challenge is Suya which originates in the northern regions of Nigeria where it was the specialty of the Hausas tribes. Today Suya is found on every street corner in Nigeria, a common late night delicacy, but is also sold during the day by countless street vendors. The meat is marinated with a unique blend of spices before being slow-roasted over open flames without ever directly touching the fire. The result is mouth-watering morsels of spice-induced tender chicken, beef, or pork on a stick.
I do have to stay it was very tasty and I will definitely repeat my foray into Nigerian cooking many more times. Nothing like firing up the barbecue in the middle of a Canadian winter to get the creative juices flowing!!! I served my Suya with some cracked wheat salad and grilled red onions in true Nigerian fashion. I read recently from someone who was spending a year in Nigeria on a missions trip that, "Many Nigerians could not fathom the excess of food in the West – it would simply boggle their minds. “So much food!” they would say, “Could I please have some rice and beans?”
**Nigerian Suya with Cracked Wheat Salad**
3 tablespoons grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 cup peanuts
grilled red onions
Grind the peanuts in a food processor or blender, being careful not to grind them too much. Give the peanuts 4 or 5 good quick pulses, else you will end up with more of a peanut butter from all the natural oil in the peanuts. Mix in the ginger, garlic, onion powder, chili powder, and paprika and mix well.
Cube the chickens into small chunks and mix the chicken in with the peanut mixture, making sure the chicken is evenly coated. Place the cubed chicken onto skewers and place back in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
Prepare the grill for medium direct grilling and placed skewered chicken onto the grill. Grill until the chicken is done,make sure to flip the skewers occasionally and make sure that the peanut mixture does not burn too much.
Serve with a side of North African Cracked Wheat Salad topped off with some grilled red onions.
**North African Cracked Wheat Salad**
This salad is a cook's dream because it must be made the day before serving to allow the cracked wheat to "cook" in the lemon juice. Cracked wheat is very similar in nutrition and texture to bulgur. It is the whole kernel broken in small pieces, but it is not precooked. I allow the salad to marry in the refrigerator and only mixing all of the ingredients at the last minute to retain the fresh taste. If you would rather eat it on the same day it is made, cook the cracked wheat in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then drain through a fine sieve. Proceed with the recipe, but serve immediately without refrigerating.
4 ounces cracked wheat
Juice of 4 lemons
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tomatoes, peeled cored, seeded, and diced
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 green bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, combine the cracked wheat, lemon juice, and oil. Mix well. Add the tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers, cucumbers, celery, scallions, parsley, and mint in layers. Season with the salt and black pepper.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or until the wheat has softened. Toss well to combine ingredients.
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