Ghana-style Beef Kebabs


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    3 to 4


Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

This popular street food, appetizer, and party snack is common throughout West Africa. Chichinga is usually made from a variety of protein sources, such as liver or beef (more traditional), chicken (more contemporary), lamb, or goat. It should be possible to adapt it to vegetarian choices like mushrooms or tofu as well. The distinctive taste comes from the rub, the tankora/yaji/chichinga powder, which includes roasted cornmeal, pulverized and fried and then re-ground with peanuts, ginger, red pepper, salt, and other spices. Ghana meats are often tough and chichinga sometimes taste overcooked to Western sensibilities.


  • 12 ounces tender boneless beef, such as top sirloin
  • 1 cup Tankora Powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 6 to 8 (8-inch long) bamboo skewers, soaked for an hour before using


  • 1 to 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ⅓ to ½ teaspoon dried ground red pepper (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, ground, grated, or crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt or seasoned salt (e.g., spicy Adobo)
  • ½ teaspoon ground white or black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons peanut or other vegetable oil



Marinate meat

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a medium mixing bowl, stirring well.
  2. Trim all the fat from the beef and cut into thin strips roughly ¼ inch thick (you should have about 18 to 21 pieces).
  3. Coat the meat evenly with the marinade and refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare kebabs

  1. When ready to grill the chichinga, preheat a broiler or prepare the grill. If broiling the kebabs, line a broiler pan or baking sheet with foil to ease the cleanup.
  2. Place a half cup of the tankora powder in a plastic or paper bag. Add 6 pieces of the marinated meat at a time and shake them well to coat. Repeat until all meat is coated.
  3. Thread 3 pieces of meat onto each skewer. Do not push the pieces tightly together. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the kebabs with a little peanut oil.

Grill or broil kebabs

  1. Place the kebabs about 5 inches from the heat source (under broiler or on the grill). Turn after about 5 minutes and cook for another 5 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

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