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Photo: NaushKitchenRoutine.com

Paaya or paya means legs in Hindustani and, well, this is exactly what it is. It’s a heavy soup that consists of anything related to legs – may it be from goat, beef, buffalo or sheep.

We tasted this dish in Pakistan because we love trying new food. Back then we didn’t know what was in it actually and just gave it a try, The-travelling-twins said.

Origin Of Paya

Paya other name in english is “hoof” “trotters” and its meaning is “feet”.

Paya originated in Central Asia cuisine and brought to South Asia by the Persians and adapted to the local cuisine by Muslim cook of Hyderabad and Lucknow, Pakistani-cuisine introduced.

How To Make It?

The basic ingredients include onions, red oil with curry spices, and absolutely giant bowls of goat legs and hoofs. Stewing for hours causes the tendons and cartilage surrounding the joints to become juicy and easily chewable. The red curry broth elevates the entire dish to incredible levels to savor, according to Pakembsofia.

  • Clean and scrub the mutton trotters with whole wheat husk, leave it on the trotters for 5 minutes and then rinse well

  • Now boil Mutton Trotters with the boiling ingredients listed, after the boil, simmer on low-flame for 4 hours until soft.

  • In another heavy-bottom pan add oil and onion paste, saute until golden. Now add the garlic and ginger paste and cook till golden and fragrant

  • Now add all the spices and cook together into gravy masala. Add the cooked mutton trotters to the masala and mix until coated well. Cook on high flame for 3-4 minutes, till the oil/ghee is released

  • Add to it the Trotters Soup (strained from whole Garam Masala)and bring it to a boil. Lower the flame and let it simmer till the gravy thickens to your desired consistency

  • Serve with Naan, Roti or Rice, suggested by Ticklethosetastebuds.

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Photo: ImagesDawn.com

Eating Paaya's Experience

This is paya, a stew of Pakistani origin made by simmering the hooves and trotters of sheep or lamb overnight with a heady blend of spices and chilis.

I regarded a hoof in the thick, bubbling broth. It’s been a while since I ate anything weird, I thought.

In this case, weird is a prejudicial adjective applied by my Western myopia to any food item that contains the less-photogenic parts of various beasts. But, of course, there’s nothing weird about paya to the millions of people across Pakistan and Northern India who opt for a steaming bowl of the stuff as a hearty and almost ridiculously restorative breakfast.

“In Pakistan, they eat it on cold mornings, with naan,” says Samreen Nawaz. “The protein is very healthy.”, Indyweek said.

Paaya Today

After that, we did some research and found out that it was actually mostly the Muslim cooks of Lahore and Hyderabad who adapted the Central Asian dish to their cuisine. Today, you’ll mostly find the same type of paaya in Pakistan: It is often based on a soup created by onions and garlic and mixed with lots of curry-based spices. Then the cook adds meat and boned of anything but pork and chicken and lets it cook for several hours. To be honest, having a look at paaya will give those who are not into the meat the chills, but trust us, this really is a good stew that may even remind you of the dishes your granny used to cook.

For those travelling to India: You can also find Paaye in Indian restaurants mostly under the name “khurode “, which comes from the word hoof, shared by The-travelling-twins.

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