Yaji Yogurt Chicken

March 9, 2018
Yaji Yogurt chicken

Hi friends :),

Ever make something and feel bad for not sharing it? I liked this Chicken dish so much, I decided to dust off the cobwebs and post a recipe. It would be unfair for me to post this on some havefood IG (follow me there!) and not share a recipe.

I’m a sucker for a simple dish that packs a ton of flavour and this one is definitely a keeper! The yogurt tenderises the chicken so beautifully and infuses it with a succulent moisture. The spices are perfect balanced, spicy and just a little tangy. It’s delicious!

Yaji is simply the hausa name for pepper, but for this blogpost, I also use it to refer to the popular ‘suya pepper’. A spice blend made of ginger, groundnuts, chilli and salt. It’s delicious and just mixes so well with the yogurt in this dish.

As you’ll see in the recipe, the chicken is marinated twice, first in spices, and then a yogurt blend. Please pay attention to the marinating time as you don’t want to ruin the texture of your chicken.

I used a grill pan for this to get those beautiful sear marks (Which I now failed to photograph properly lol), but you can totally make this in the oven as well. Turn o on the broiler in the last 5 mins for a nice golden brown!

I really hope you try this, please let me know

Yaji Yogurt Chicken
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: West African
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
A delicious succulent chicken dish, infused with a spicy, nutty pepper.
  • 12 pieces chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup of plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 2 heaped tablespoons spoons Yaji (Suya pepper)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  1. Sprinkle the chicken in all the spices except the "Yaji" and the minced garlic.
  2. Allow to marinate in the fridge overnight.
  3. Combine the Yogurt with 1 tablespoon of the yaji and mix well.
  4. Coat chicken in yogurt mixture and return to the fridge for about 90 minutes (maximum of 3 hours)
  5. Heat a grill pan on high heat and lightly coat the pan with ghee (substitute with oil of choice)
  6. When pan is very hot, place the chicken thighs skin side down and allow to sear for about 6 minutes.
  7. Do not over crowd the pan, I did four pieces at a time.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium high and flip the chicken then cover the pan so the chicken cooks through.
  9. Allow to cook for about 15 to 20minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  10. Transfer all chicken pieces to a plate and dust with the remaining 'Yaji' generously.
  11. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes before eating.
  12. Serve with a side dish like potato wedges or couscous

If you try this let me know. This weekend, i’m going to make a wings version of this! Super excited to see how it turns out.

Love always,


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