Veggie "Swallow" (Poundo Yam)

Funke Koleosho's Veggie Swallow - Poundo Yam
In Nigerian cuisine, most side dishes or soup accompaniments are oddly referred to as "swallows". I guess mainly because these foods are not chewed but rather swallowed in small morsels with a variety of vegetable soups/stews! (read more here)

Nigerians love their "Swallows"
The typical Nigerian never jokes with their "swallow". It is thought that an average Nigerian will have a "swallow" at least once a day.

I personally, do enjoy having a "swallowed" meal now and then, but no more than twice or thrice a week. This is because I feel eating more "swallow" per week will not suit my mostly sedentary life style.

Swallows are really rich and high in carbohydrates and due to their subjected processing, most of their vital minerals and vitamins have been lost. The regular consumption of Nigerian "swallowed" meals without the commensurate physical activities to burn off excess calories can lead to obesity and type two diabetes.

What we need to adopt is a way to make these foods more incorporating other types of food what can provide lost nutrients.

After I discovered the addition of cauliflower to one of Nigeria's most popular swallows gari/eba, in Tuedon Morgan's health and wellness group, I went to town with the addition of different vegetables to my swallows. Name it, I have added it.

Why you should "Swallow" Differently
  • You increase the nutritional profile of your swallow
  • You increase the bulk of your swallow without packing the calories, filling you up more.
  • You increase fibre content of your swallow 
  • You increase the variety of your diet
  • You make visually attractive meals (the contrasting colours of the swallow and the vegetables is simply gorgeous...)
Things to bear in mind
  • Not all vegetables are suitable to add to your swallow but with several trials you will discover those that are most suitable for your palate. 
  • I found that vegetables with no overpowering taste of their own worked well, such as brockley, cauliflower, cabbage (both white and red), spinach and ugwu.
  • You do not need to precook the vegetables and they must be chopped finely to enable them to cook quickly
  • Do not add any salt to the vegetables
  • I have only successfully tried this out on gari/eba, pounded yam made from poundo flour and tuwo 'n' shinkafa (rice)
  • I started off by adding a small portion of vegetables but then gradually increased the vegetable/poundo ratio. The more the vegetables the healthier your swallow gets. I increased the vegetables to the point where the authentic taste of the swallow can still be perceived.

Veggie Poundo served with Okro Soup

Trust me, you would not notice much difference in taste...(if blind folded, you cannot tell apart which has added vegetables! Just for the health benefits that this concept promises, surely you owe it to your health to try it out....

What you need
  • Instant poundo flour
  • Some of your favourite soup/stew such as stewed spinach, ogbonna, okro etc
  • Vegetables (in this recipe I used brockley but you can use any other vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, spinach or ugwu)
  • Water

What to do
  1. Wash your vegetables and fine chop. Bring some water to the boil in a large pot and add the finely chopped vegetables. 
  2. Give the vegetable a swirl in the pot to avoid settling and ensure even distribution 
  3. Then add the poundo flour in a steady/continuous flow until it hardens and turns in to a paste. 
  4. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon while adding the poundo flour to avoid lumps developing. 
  5. You should continue to add poundo flour until it gels up/harden enough as you prefer, add hot water to adjust consistency. 
  6. Stir well to even-out the poundo flour into a smooth paste. 
  7. Serve with your favourite vegetable soup.



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