How to Process Ponmo at home

ponmo seller

Local ponmo seller – Image credit matsecooks

I honestly can believe it’s already august. Where did my summer go? I have been so busy with the baby, blog , school and several projects that 24 hours just isn’t enough anymore.ย  I wonder how people like Gordon Ramsay manage to balance it all.

So August is DIY month on! who is excited ? we will feature recipe for things that you will typically buy premade. These are invaluable skills for times when you might not have access or when you feel safer with homemade products.

We are kicking things off with ponmo (cow skin).ย  Ever wondered how ponmo is made? ponmo is a much beloved part of Nigerian cuisine, it’s used extensively from popular stews like Ayamase and Buka stew, to soups like vegetable soup and Onugbu . There is just something about properly cooked ponmo that is magical.I especially love when it’s slow cooked in stew and the sauce find its way into the crevices of the ponmo and when you bite into it, the sauce oozes out of all corner (Ho dear)

Take a moment to appreciate these ponmo perfection

Buka - stew - yoruba - food - nigerian - sauce - shaki - ponmo - beef - meat

Sauced - Peppered - meat - nigerian - spicy - recipe - beer

If you live in Nigeria, oya look away and run along. Ho wait, maybe you need this as well, we have all heard those scary stories of ponmo sellers injecting it with all sorts in order for the ponmo to look thick and plump. You might want to make your own if food safety is of great importance to you.

This post is specially dedicated to Nigerians in the diaspora. Most of us have taken to buying our meat from farms, but, we often donโ€™t know how to get that ultimate local Nigeria pomo from the cow skin we get .

Now, you know how they say there is more than one way to skin a cat? Well, that is also true for ponmo. There are several ways to do it, but this is my favorite method for home cooks.


Smoked cow skin (this is done to remove hair from the skin. it’s typically done at the farm or abattoir)


  • Start by cutting the cow skin into large pieces you can handle
  • Scrape off the back of the skin to remove dirtcleaning ponmo
  • Remove any excess meat that might be on the inside of the ponmo. Wash the ponmo under running water. Pat dry

making ponmo

homemade ponmo

  • Preheat oven to 400f and line an oven tray with some foil
  • Place the ponmo pieces on the lined tray and place in the oven. Bake until pieces are curled and dried. (25-30 minutes)
Locally , this step is done by open pit fire. the cleaned cow hide is thrown into burning flame and cooked until curled.

curly ponmo

lagos ponmo

  • Remove ponmo from the oven. Place curled pieces in a large pot and cover with water. (I used a pressure cooker). Cook for 30-45 minutes . Remove cooked ponmo from water and set aside to cool. Cut into smaller pieces

local ponmo

ponmo - homemade - curly - recipe - process - cow - skin - Nigeria - seller - market

Note: This is where I typically stop processing for the ponmo I use at home. however, you can choose to process further. Do note that the more your process the ponmo, the softer it becomes.

Alternatively: Process further

  • Place a large pot on medium-high heat and fill with oil. Heat up oil. Place cooled ponmo pieces in oil and fry until crispy. Remove from oil and set aside.
  • Place fried ponmo pieces in a large bowl, cover with water and allow to rehydrate overnight.

Ponmo is ready to use in your favorite soups and stews. Fried ponmo require less boiling time.

Note: The end color of your ponmo is determined by the color of the cow as well as scraping. black and white cow will typically produce white ponmo while brown cows produce brown ponmo.

Local sellers usually scrape the processed ponmo until the complete outer layer is removed .

How - to - make - ponmo - curly - home - cow - skin - ethic - delicasie

Processed ponmo – unfried

Are you encouraged to make your own ponmo at home?

What other DIY recipes will you like to learn?

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By |August 15th, 2015|14 Comments


  1. Chinwe August 7, 2016 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    So I went to the butcher and asked for cow skin since they just throw it away and he gave me this big box of unburnt skin….. My husband tried to burn some on the stove we shall see what the end product is. Good description Ronke but you should add labour of love. The next time I visit anyone and they give me Ponmo I will appreciate it more

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie August 8, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Hahhahahahahha… I honestly cant stop laughing.

  2. Omon December 23, 2015 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Hmmm , you keep blowing my mind with details with which you describe your cooking method. Thanks so much for this blog, it’s my own personal cook book, when I’m at a loss of what to make for the family. Thank you so much.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 24, 2015 at 5:37 pm - Reply

      Awww thanks for the kind words, happy cooking!

  3. Xty August 24, 2015 at 10:04 am - Reply

    with my baby, school, work and sewing…. I hope I can find time out to try this. BTW, pls what’s the best brand of stove top pressure cooker? Thank you

  4. matsecooks August 19, 2015 at 2:12 am - Reply

    First and foremost, I want to thank you for the photo credit. It was very kind of you. Thank you.

    When I was younger, my dad and a few friend would buy a cow and share it amongst themselves…that meant lots of meat in the freezer and work, work, work for us the kids.

    As children we used to scrape the hair off the fresh cow hide with razor blades before cooking in water. It was a very tedious task we hated. Still hate it till date.

    This very useful information, especially for those in diaspora.

    God bless you Ronke. Like I say, I know you are a great wife and mother. An asset to your entire family and generations to come.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie August 19, 2015 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      Mehn!! slave labor my dear. What I really hated doing was weaving intestines.. o my days. Now I relish those moments though.
      Thank you for your blessings and prayers, I really appreciate it. I cant wait to visit your kitchen in Nigeria!!

  5. Tony August 15, 2015 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Salivating ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. D1ob August 15, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Awesome diy..i need to try this once i find some skin

  7. UmmiBee August 15, 2015 at 10:08 am - Reply

    ?? wow! Thanks for this! Who knew it was this easy?

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