Recipe: Zoe Alakija's suya-battered vegetable kebabs

10 June 2021
Recipe: Zoe Alakija's suya-battered vegetable kebabs

Taken from Afro Vegan: Family Recipes from a British-Nigerian Kitchen, by Zoe Alakija (Hoxton Mini Press, £20)

Serves 6

After my dad finished work, my family would meet at the Ibadan polo club for a cold beer and a plate of suya: a spicy meat kebab, cooked over firewood and rubbed in suya spice (a traditional peanut-based spice mix, also called yaji). These veg kebabs take the idea further, upping the spice mix with extra roasted peanuts to make a crunchy coating. Ose oji, a spiced peanut butter sauce originating from the Igbo people in Nigeria, is the ideal accompaniment.


  • 12 wooden skewers
  • 300g roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1½tsp garlic powder
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 2tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 2tsp paprika
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • ½tsp ground cloves
  • ½tsp allspice
  • ½tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1tsp fine salt (to taste)
  • 180g chickpea flour
  • 195ml dairy-free milk
  • 1 yellow plantain
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded
  • 200g button mushrooms

For the ose oji sauce

  • 300g smooth unsalted peanut butter
  • 1tbs ground cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½tsp fine salt

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Soak the wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes.

Pulse the peanuts in a food processor for a couple of seconds, until lightly blended. Then shake them onto a large plate with the garlic powder, stock cube, spices and salt.

Put the chickpea flour and milk in a medium bowl and whisk together with a pinch of salt until you have a smooth, thick batter.

Top and tail the plantain, then score the skin down the length of it, trying not to cut through to the flesh. Repeat down the opposite length and remove the skin. Chop up the plantain, courgette, onion and red peppers into chunks and rounds, trying to keep the sizes broadly the same. Keep the mushrooms whole. Assemble the kebabs by gently pushing alternating vegetables along the skewers.

Using large spoonfuls, coat each kebab in the batter. Let any excess batter drip off into the bowl, then roll the kebabs across the plate of peanuts and spice mix.

Transfer them to an aluminium foil-lined tray and cook in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

For the ose oji, stir together the peanut butter, spices and salt in a saucepan and warm up over a medium-low heat.

Serve the kebabs hot, drizzled with the ose oji. Top with crushed roasted peanuts and a sprinkling of coriander, if you like, keeping any extra sauce on the side for dipping.

Photography by Zoe Alakija

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