Kilishi is the spicy Nigerian Beef Jerky, another gift from Northern Nigeria. This is one of those Nigerian snacks that you can eat till your chin pain you yet you will not want to stop.

Kilishi can be likened to Nigerian Suya in that they have similar ingredients but the preparation and texture is different.

Traditionally, Kilishi is dried under the sun’s intense heat for about 3 days but here’s how to make it in your kitchen in under an hour.

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Ingredients you need for Kilishi

Here are the ingredients I used:

  • 10 pieces wafer-thin beef
  • 1 tablespoon suya spice (suya pepper)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cloves (Kanafuru)
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 1 small stock cube
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry cayenne pepper seeds

Notes about the ingredients

  1. The beef you will use for Kilishi should be cut from the reddest part of the beef with no fat at all.
  2. You can buy the suya spice (suya pepper) in African food stores.
  3. You get the dry cayenne pepper seeds by removing the red part of the pepper.

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Directions for making Kilishi

  1. Cut the beef into very thin fillets if it has not been done for you by the butchers.
  2. Cut off all traces of fat from the beef.
  3. Sprinkle a tiny quantity of salt on the fillets of beef and spread them around. You only need a tiny quantity and you can skip salt altogether.
  4. Line your oven tray with a baking sheet and lay the pieces of beef flat on it.
  5. Put the tray of beef into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the beef every 5 minutes for even drying.
  6. After 15 minutes, bring out the beef from the oven and brush the Kilishi all over them, making sure that both sides of the beef are well covered.Note:
    The way they do it in the North is to dry the fillets of beef in the sun for 2 days then soak them in the Kilishi spice solution and spread in the sun (on flat rafia baskets) till dry. Some grill it after soaking in the Kilishi solution.
  7. Put them back in the oven and bake for additional 10 to 15 minutes. Flip them from time to time and this time, keep a very good eye on it else it will become bone dry. You want it dry and chewy not crunchy.

Please note that the Kilishi will become drier when it has cooled down completely so bear this in mind when deciding the time to bring it out of the oven.

Serve with more pepper (if you wish) and a chilled drink.


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