If you haven't tried Ghanaian food, the peanuts and warm spices in this dish taste familiar, yet come together in a way that's surprising. The recipe is from Robert Edwards, who was born in Ghana and is a backyard griller in Oakland--as well as a line cook at Oakland's Duende restaurant. In Ghana, yaazzi is the name for both the grilled skewers (traditionally lamb or goat) and the peanut and spice rub that's sprinkled on top. It's a specialty of Edwards's mother's Sisaala ethnic group. The skewers are also excellent with beef, and with almonds instead of peanuts. You'll need 12-in. metal or wooden skewers. To drink, Edwards serves beer or sparkling wine.
This recipe goes with: Spiced Yogurt Sauce
Make seasoning: In a blender, whirl onion, ginger, and oil until smooth. Add salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a resealable plastic bag and add meat. Seal bag, turn to coat meat, and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Make dry rub: Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and set aside. (Save 1 tsp. for Spiced Yogurt Sauce.)
About 1 hour before cooking, let meat come to room temperature. Soak 8 (12 in.) bamboo skewers in water at least 30 minutes, or use metal skewers. Thread about 6 chunks of meat (with seasoning paste) onto each skewer.
For charcoal, ignite a full chimney of half mesquite lump charcoal and half mesquite charcoal briquets on firegrate of a charcoal grill. When lit, 20 to 25 minutes, arrange coals in an even layer and set cooking grate in place (fire should be 400° to 450°). For gas, heat a grill to medium (400°).
Oil cooking grate, using a wad of oiled paper towels and tongs. Grill meat, covered and turning once, until medium-rare, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle meat heavily on all sides with dry rub (you may have some left over). Let meat rest 2 to 3 minutes.
Set skewers on a platter and drizzle with some yogurt sauce. Scatter with smoked paprika and herb sprigs. Serve more sauce on the side.
*In Ghana, cooks pound and then sift peanuts. Here, powdered peanut butter such as PB2 is widely available at well-stocked grocery stores. Find almond meal in the baking aisle; toast in a 350° oven until light golden, 12 minutes.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.