Kyinkyinga (pronounced chin-chin-ga) is a popular street food in Ghana. It is also referred to by the name Suya. Kyinkyinga is basically a shish kebab but it is made with different spices. It is usually prepared on the grill and sold by street vendors or local chop bars. However, it was a special occasion type of food in my house. My mother mostly made Suya on holidays and for family parties.
It is typically made using lamb, liver, beef, or goat meat chunks. On Thanksgiving, I decided to recreate a vegan version of this holiday dish. I am pleased to tell you that I was successful in this mission. Click here to feast on this spicy delight.
Ingredients for Kyinkyinga
4 packages of “vegan beef” chunks
6 cloves of garlic
1 knuckle of ginger (inch long piece)
3 Tablespoons of peanut butter (unsweetened)
2 Large onions
1 16 oz can of crushed tomato sauce
1 can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of vegan ‘beef’ bouillon
3 tablespoons of Suya spice
2 Tablespoons of West African ground red pepper
1 package of bamboo skewers
2 large red bell peppers
1 large green bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
1 teaspoon of paprika
¼ cup of water
3 tablespoons of canola oil
1 sprig of thyme
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of sea salt
Note: Before even starting this recipe, make sure that you soak the bamboo skewers for at least 24 hours to prevent them from burning in the oven.
Take 4 package of the vegan beef cubes and allow it to thaw. After it is thawed out cover it with a marinade of the following: peanut butter, garlic, and ginger. To make the marinade, put 3 cloves of garlic, 1 knuckle of ginger, 1/4 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of peanut butter in a blender or food processor and blend until slightly smooth. Then pour this mixture over the beef chunks allow to marinate in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.
While the beef chunks are marinating make the sauce to cover the “beef” chunks by putting 1 diced tomato, onion, 3 cloves of garlic, sliced red bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of seas salt, and 3 tablespoons of canola oil into a medium size pot. When onions, garlic, and tomatoes have cooked until slightly soft, add the can of crushed tomatoes. After adding the crushed tomatoes, add in ½ a can of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of vegan “beef” bouillon and allow the stew to cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes. You will know that the tomato stew is almost done because the color will be darker and the amount will be reduced a little bit. When this happens add in the sprig of thyme, teaspoon of turmeric, and 1teaspoon of paprika to the sauce then allow it to cook through for an additional 5 minutes before taking it off the stove and setting it aside while you prepare the skewers.
Before assembling the skewers start preheating your oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then turn it down to 350 degrees.
Prepare for the assembling of the Kyinkyinga by chopping the red, green, and yellow peppers into large square pieces. Chop an onion into large pieces and begin to assemble the skewers.
Take a skewer and start assembling by alternating the order of “beef”, onions, and peppers until you reach the end. I chose to put 5 “beef’ chunks on every skewer. So I started my skewer in the following manner: green pepper, “beef” chunk, onion, red pepper, “beef” chunk, yellow pepper, “beef” chunk, onion, “beef” chunk , red pepper, and “beef” chunk. Follow this method for all of the skewers until completed.
When all of the skewers are assembled, cover all of the skewers with the 3 tablespoons of Suya spice. You can add a little bit more if you like. Put the skewers into a baking dish and place in the oven for 15 minutes to bake. After the 15 minutes are up pour the stew sauce over the skewers and turn them to ensure that all of the skewers are evenly coated. Then put them back in the oven for another 15 minutes for the sauce to bake on the skewers.
When they are done take the Kyinkyinga out of the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. You can serve this with Jollof rice and fried plantains. Then serve and enjoy!