Ponmo: All you need to know about this Nigerian Delicacy

Ponmo: All you need to know about this Nigerian Delicacy| My Sasun African Market

Nov 30, 2023Elizabeth Yakubu

Ponmo is a type of meat that is popular in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. It is made from the cow's skin or hide, and has a very unique flavor that everyone seems to love. In this blog post, we will discuss everything there is to know about ponmo. We will cover where it comes from, what it tastes like, how to cook it, and more!


What is Ponmo?

Ponmo is the Yoruba name for cow skin, also known as kanda in Igbo, awo in Hausa, and kpomo in some other Nigerian languages. It is cow skin that is usually sold in markets after being processed by roasting, boiling, or smoking. Ponmo is a cheap and widely available source of animal protein, especially for low-income households. It is also a delicacy that is enjoyed by many Nigerians for its chewy and gelatinous texture.



What are the Nutritional Benefits of Ponmo?

Ponmo is not a very nutritious food, as it contains mostly collagen and water, and very little fat, protein, vitamins, or minerals. However, it does have some health benefits, such as:


  • It is low in calories and cholesterol, which makes it suitable for people who want to lose weight or maintain a healthy heart.


  • It is rich in collagen, which is good for the skin, hair, nails, joints, and bones.


  • It is easy to digest and does not cause allergies or intolerance, unlike some other types of meat.


However, ponmo should not be eaten as a substitute for meat, as it does not provide all the essential amino acids that the body needs. It should rather be eaten as a supplement or an additive to other dishes, such as soups, stews, rice, beans, or vegetables.

 Ponmo: All you need to know about this Nigerian Delicacy

Types of Ponmo

Ponmo is not a uniform product, as it can come in different types, depending on the color, size, shape, and processing method. Some of the common types of ponmo are:


  • White ponmo: This is the most common and popular type of ponmo, as it has a natural white or light-coloured appearance. It is usually soft and easy to cook, and it has a mild flavor. It is also the cheapest and most available type of ponmo.


  • Brown ponmo: This is a type of ponmo that has a brown or dark-coloured appearance, due to the roasting or smoking process. It is usually harder and tougher than white ponmo, and it has a smoky flavor. It is also more expensive and less available than white ponmo.


How to Cook Ponmo?

Ponmo can be cooked in various ways, depending on the preference and the recipe. Some of the common methods of cooking ponmo are:


  • Boiling: This is the simplest and most common way of cooking ponmo. It involves washing the ponmo thoroughly, cutting it into pieces, and boiling it in water with salt and spices until it is soft and tender. Boiled ponmo can be eaten as a snack, or added to other dishes, such as egusi soup, vegetable soup, gbegiri soup, bitter leaf soup, and many more.


  • Frying: This is another popular way of cooking ponmo. It involves boiling the ponmo first, then frying it in oil until it is crispy and golden. Fried ponmo can be eaten as a snack, or served with sauce, pepper, onions, tomatoes, and other ingredients.


  • Stewing: This is a way of cooking ponmo that involves simmering it in a sauce made from tomatoes, onions, peppers, spices, and other ingredients. Stewed ponmo can be eaten with rice, yam, plantain, or bread.


  • Grilling: This is a way of cooking ponmo that involves roasting it over an open fire or a grill. Grilled ponmo can be eaten as a snack, or served with sauce, pepper, onions, tomatoes, and other ingredients.


Precautions when buying Ponmo

If you are looking for fresh ponmo, you can find it in many African grocery stores, markets, or online shops. However, you need to be careful when buying ponmo, as some unscrupulous sellers may sell you ponmo that has been processed with harmful substances, such as tyres, plastics, or used engine oil. These substances can cause serious health problems, such as cancer, liver damage, kidney failure, or even death.


To avoid buying poisonous ponmo, you should look for the following signs:

  • Fresh ponmo should have a natural brown colour, not black or dark.

  • Fresh ponmo should have a smooth and shiny surface, not rough or dull.

  • Fresh ponmo should have a pleasant and mild smell, not foul or rancid.

  • Fresh ponmo should have a firm and elastic texture, not soft or brittle.


You should also wash and cook the ponmo thoroughly before eating it, to remove any dirt or contaminants.


Popular Nigerian Dishes that Ponmo Pairs With

Ponmo is a versatile ingredient that can be paired with many Nigerian dishes, especially soups and stews. Some of the most popular Nigerian dishes that ponmo pairs with are:


  • Egusi soup: This is a thick soup made from ground melon seeds, palm oil, vegetables, and seasonings. It is usually eaten with a swallow, such as fufu, eba, amala, or pounded yam. Ponmo adds a chewy and meaty texture to the soup, and complements the nutty flavour of the egusi.


  • Efo-riro: This is a vegetable soup made from spinach, kale, or any other leafy greens, cooked with palm oil, locust beans, crayfish, and assorted meat or fish. It is a delicacy among the Yoruba people of Nigeria and is usually served with a swallow or boiled rice. Ponmo is one of the common meats used in efo-riro, as it absorbs the rich and spicy flavour of the soup.


  • Peppered ponmo: This is a snack or appetizer made from ponmo that has been boiled, fried, and then coated with a sauce made from tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices. It is a popular street food in Nigeria, and can also be served as a side dish or a dessert. Peppered ponmo is spicy, crispy, and delicious.


How to Wash Ponmo

Ponmo needs to be washed and soaked before cooking. Here are the steps to wash ponmo:


  • Rinse the ponmo under running water to remove any dirt or sand.


  • Scrape the dirt off the back of the ponmo with a knife or a spoon. You can also use a grater or a peeler to remove the outer layer of the ponmo, if it is too hard or dirty.


  • Cut the ponmo into smaller pieces, according to your preference. You can also leave it whole, if you want.


  • Soak the ponmo in hot water for about 15 minutes, or until it is soft and pliable. You can also add salt, vinegar, or lemon juice to the water, to help remove any unpleasant smell or taste from the ponmo.


  • Drain the water and rinse the ponmo again. Your ponmo is now ready to be cooked⁵⁶.


Where You Can Find Ponmo Outside of Nigeria

Ponmo is a delicacy that is enjoyed by many Nigerians and Africans in the diaspora, but it can be hard to find outside of Nigeria. However, there are some places where you can find ponmo outside of Nigeria, such as:


  • African grocery stores: These are stores that specialize in selling African food products, such as spices, grains, beans, sauces, and meats. You can find ponmo in some of these stores, either in its dried form or already cooked and packaged. You can also order ponmo online from some of these stores, and have it delivered to your doorstep.


  • African restaurants: These are restaurants that serve African cuisine, such as Nigerian, Ghanaian, Senegalese, Ethiopian, and more. You can find ponmo in some of these restaurants, either as a part of a dish or as a separate order. 


  • My Sasun African Store: This is the best place to find ponmo outside of Nigeria as we offer quality and affordable ponmo products. We deliver to all states in the US and Canada, and we guarantee that you will get the freshest and tastiest ponmo ever. You can choose from the fresh ponmo or the dry ones; the smoked ones or the fried ones. You can also order ponmo in bulk if you want to stock up or share with your friends and family. You can visit our website, where you can browse through our ponmo products, and place your order with just a few clicks. You can also contact us, if you have any questions or feedback. We are always happy to hear from and serve you.



Rounding Off

Ponmo is a delicious cow skin delicacy from Nigeria that can be enjoyed in various ways. It is low in calories and cholesterol, rich in collagen, and easy to digest. However, it is not very nutritious, and it should not be eaten as a substitute for meat. It should also be bought from reputable sources, and cooked properly, to avoid any health risks.


We hope you learned something new about ponmo from this blog post. If you are interested in buying fresh ponmo, you can visit our African grocery store website, where we offer a wide range of quality and affordable ponmo products. You can also check out our other blog posts, where we share more information and recipes about African food and culture. Thank you for reading!

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