Beef Chichinga Skewers Recipe
"The lyrically named chichinga is a very popular street food, essentially Ghana’s answer to shish kebab: meat that has been rubbed in a spice mix, then skewered and grilled."
Prep: 1 hour
Total: 1 ½ hours
for the suya spice:
2 teaspoons ground hot pepper (or substitute cayenne pepper)
1 teaspoon crushed sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
for the chalé sauce:
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 teaspoon crushed sea salt
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 red Scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
1 (14-ounce|400 grams) can tomatoes
1 (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)
for the peanut sauce:
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 tablespoon extra-hot chili powder
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
3 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons crushed sea salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red Scotch bonnet chilli, pierced
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)
2/3 cup|150 ml good-quality vegetable stock
2 cups|500 ml chalé sauce
7 ounces|100–200g peanut butter, depending on how thick you want the sauce
for the chichinga skewers:
1 pound|500 grams free range rump beef steak
2 tablespoons suya spice mix
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
30 ml groundnut oil (20ml for basting)
1 (3-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
fresh coriander leaves
sliced fresh red chillies
freshly ground roasted peanuts (optional)
1. For the suya spice mix: Mix all the ingredients for the dry spice mix together in a bowl. Store in airtight container in a cool, dark place and use within a few months. For up to 500g (1 pound 2 ounces) meat or seafood, use 3-4 tablespoons of the dry spice mix as a rub, then rub into the tenderized meat, or seafood. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1–2 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Make the chalé sauce: Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend together until you have a smooth paste. Use straight away or leave to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for future use.
3. Make the peanut sauce: Heat the groundnut oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the onion and sauté over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the chilli powder and curry powder, then add the peanuts, sea salt, garlic, chili, and ginger and stir well; lots of punchy aroma should be rising from the pot at this point. Stir in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until stock reduces by half. Add the blended chalé sauce and cook for a further 50 minutes. Add the peanut butter, 1 tablespoon at a time while stirring, until it has all dissolved, then use a stick blender to blend all the ingredients to a smooth consistency. Leave to simmer over a low heat for at least a further 60 minutes before serving, or leave to cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
4. Make the chichinga skewers: Trim any sinew and thick fat from beef before slicing into strips approx. 5 inches long and 1cm wide. Combine suya spice mix with the sea salt, oil, and fresh ginger and marinate strips for at least 1 hour, refrigerated, ensuring good even coverage.
5. Skewer two pieces of meat per skewer, using 3-4 skewers as an individual portion.
6. Light a grill. Baste grill with groundnut oil, then place skewers on hot grill for 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Serve with a side of peanut sauce for an extra savory and sweet kick!