How to Make Nigerian Kilishi (Spicy Beef Jerky)

How to Make Nigerian Kilishi (Spicy Beef Jerky)

How to Make Nigerian Kilishi

Kilishi is also known as the Nigerian adaptation of beef jerky. It is a snack popular among Northern Nigerians. It is also the one snack that leaves you salivating even after consuming so much. It has earned 2nd place in the Chin and jaw aching snack hall of fame (the first place belongs to the locally made chin chin of the ’90s. If you know, you know).

You can also liken Kilishi to the popular Suya. However, Suya is different because it doesn’t go through as much heat as Kilishi; the preparation procedure is also different, as well as the texture. Also, the moisture content in Suya is higher than Kilishi.

In the North, Kilishi is dried under the sun for three days; however, in this article, we will show you how you can make Kilishi in 1 hour.


To prepare Kilishi, you would need;

  • 10 pieces of wafer-thin beef or you could buy a kilo of beef and with a very sharp knife slice them into thin wafers.
  • 2 tablespoons of Suya spice or Suya mix.
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 1 small stock cube
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried cayenne pepper seeds
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cloves (Kanafuru)

Things to note about the ingredients

  • When selecting the beef for Kilishi, go for the reddest part of the beef. Avoid the fatty parts.
  • Use the sharpest knife when cutting the beef into wafers. The beef should be 3mm thin when slicing. It requires a lot of skill, so you would need the patience to get it done.
  • You can buy the Suya spice in supermarkets. They are usually sold in jars.
  • 3 cloves of garlic are just 3 pieces out of the full bulb.
  • You can also try using dry ginger if you have access to them. I used fresh ginger to prepare mine.
  • You do not need too much salt when making kilishi, because when it gets dried, the salt becomes more pronounced.
  • To get the cayenne seeds, all you need to do is to take away the red part of the pepper and obtain the seeds.

Kilishi Preparation

  1. Grind the cloves with a dry mill and keep it aside.
  2. Peel the garlic and ginger and grind into a smooth paste.
  3. Add the ground cloves and crushed cubes to the garlic and ginger paste. Add some water, stir and sieve to get an extract of the spices and seasoning.
  4. Add the Suya spice and Cayenne pepper seeds to the solution, stir and set aside.
  5. Cut the beef into very thin fillets. Use a sharp knife and a chopping board to do a clean job.
  6. Set your oven to 475F or gas mark 9 to preheat. If your oven doesn’t have these marks, just set the oven to the highest on your oven setting. If your oven has fans, turn it on too because it allows the meat dry faster.
  7. Sprinkle a tiny quantity of salt on the beef fillets and turn them around. You could skip this process altogether.
  8. Place a baking sheet over your oven tray and lay the pieces of beef flat on it.
  9. Put the tray of beef in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. After every 5 minutes, flip the beef for even distribution of heat, so that it dries evenly.
  • After 15 minutes, take the beef out of the oven and brush the Kilishi all over the beef fillets. Ensure that they are well covered.
  • Put the beef fillets back in the oven to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Flip them from time to time and be careful it doesn’t get too dry.

Also, note that Kilishi gets drier when it cools off. You should consider this when deciding the time to bring it out of the oven.

Your Kilishi is ready to be eaten. You can serve with fruit juice or soda.

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