The recipe for Dambu Nama was once one of the best kept secret recipes from Northern Nigeria. This should top the chart of ultimate street foods from the north of Nigeria. I’ve had this in my draft since 2020, I was just too lazy to deal with the writers block as well as take actual blog worthy pictures. Finally took pictures after resisting the urge woof down the whole batch I made.
Dambu Nama is a delicacy from the north of Nigeria, that can best be described as spicy fried meat floss. Floss because the meat is shredded so thin it feels like cotton candy floss in your mouth. It is flavourful and moreish, you wouldn’t even realise you have gone through an entire batch in a few minutes.
Yaji aka Suya Spice is what gives this its unique flavour and aroma, so ensure you get good yaji spice.
Dambu Nama is typically made with Ram Meat (best option IMO) or Beef, but it is quite common to find Dambu now made with Chicken. Chicken Dambu is usually softer and easier to floss.
Here is How to make Dambu Nama.
Ingredients (measurements for the recipe are mostly eyeballed, so please cook with your heart and taste buds)
- Raw Meat
- Onions (chopped)
- Garlic (chopped)
- Ginger (chopped)
- Cayenne Pepper (aka ground chilli pepper)
- Yaji Spice (Suya Spice)
- *Ginger powder (optional)
- Bay Leaf
- *Seasoning cubes (optional)
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- Rinse your meat, add your chopped, onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, yaji spice, salt, seasoning cubes and some water.
- Cook till the meat is cooked soft enough that it can easily fall apart. You can cook in a pressure pot to speed the process up.
- Take the meats out from the broth. Traditionally you need a mortar and pestle to pound the meats to separate the fibres. In the absence of a mortar and pestle, use a fork to pull the meats apart to flossy strings. You can smash on a chopping board or clean flat surface using a rolling pin, or mallet.
- Season with *ginger powder*, yaji spice, chilli pepper as you pound, if necessary some more salt.
- Heat up some oil till hot, now you want the oil hot enough so the meats don’t sit too long and soak up oil, you also don’t want the oil too hot so as not to fry too fast and burn the meats.
- Fry the meat to a light golden-brown
- Collect it in a wire mesh sieve so all the oil strains out. I laid an oil absorbent paper towel at the base of my sieve to draw out the oil.
- Spread the fried floss on a tray to air dry and sprinkle a generous amount of Yaji Spice. Resist the urge to dry the ready dambu nama in the oven, it can become too dehydrated and start to flake and crumble.
- To store, pack into an airtight container. You can refrigerate it for a longer shelf life.