Kilishi is a widely known meat delicacy of the Hausas. The precise origin of Kilishi remains unknown, it has however, remained a family inherited business that have existed for decades with the production process constantly in-genuinely transferred from generation to generation within families of Kilishi business owners.
Each family involved in the production of Kilishi, have their own peculiar method of processing Kilishi which in turn gives the finished product a very unique taste. This have remained a family trade secret that is transferred to only family members and ultimately gives each family member a sustainable business platform and increased demand for their Kilishi by costumers. For instance, in the city of Kano, Nigeria, the taste of the Kilishi bought in Agadasawa is always different from that bought in Kurmi. The uniqueness in taste explains the divergent names given to the various Kilishi producers by their customers.
Kilishi is made from carefully sliced lean muscles of cow, lamb or goat beef. The sliced beef is placed on a papyrus covered table with a protective net to prevent contamination by preying flies and dried under the scotching hot sun (sun drying) for about two days. The sliced beef is turned over at hourly interval to facilitate even drying and prevent the possible sticking of the beef to the drying surface.
The sun dried beef is thereafter dunked in a specially prepared Kilishi spice solution made from “Labu” (groundnut), water, ginger, honey, salt, dried pepper, cloves, and garlic before spreading out in the sun again. When the drying process is completed the beef slices are finally roasted over a glowing fire for about five minutes to help enhance the flavor of the finished Kilishi snack.
It has continued to create employment for the teeming population of the producing communities, a source of attraction for the discerning tourist and an economic contributor.
Kilishi sometimes referred to as a spicy local Hausa snack is an ideal delight for serving at all events, affordable and competes favorably with other international snacks. It has earned prominence and recognition internationally and competes favorably with other international snacks.
By Aisha Saleh