Paya means feet. Here I’ve used mutton trotters. The origin of Paya lies in Central Asian cuisine, brought to South Asia by the Persians. The dish was adapted to the local cuisines by the Muslim cooks of Hyderabad and Lucknow.

Subsequently, Paya became popular all over present-day Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. It is also available in restaurants serving Indian and Pakistani cuisines outside South Asia. It is especially famous in Delhi and Punjab region.

Recipes for this dish vary regionally. The soup base is created by sautéed onions, tomatoes, and garlic, where a number of curry-based spices are then added. The cooked dish is served with a garnish of fresh diced ginger and fresh coriander leaves, along with fresh sliced lemon. However I didn’t do that.


It is slow cooked on low heat for hours (usually overnight) on the stove. However, it is nowadays mostly cooked in a pressure cooker.

Historically, when people used wood or coal as a cooking fuel, women would start this dish at night and slow cook it in the coals until the morning. This dish has a soup-like consistency and is usually eaten as a breakfast food in the winter months with naan. Here it’s winter and all I want is soups. Yum. This soup is also given to women post delivery. My mother says that her post delivery diet was completely mutton paya. 🙂





Paya   –   1 kg

Onion   –   1 big, chopped

Tomato   –   1 medium, chopped

Ginger-garlic paste   –   3 tablespoons

Cumin seeds   –   1/2 teaspoon

Red chilli powder   –   1 1/2 teaspoons

Coriander powder   –   1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder   –   1/2 teaspoon

Garam masala   –   1 teaspoon

Salt   –   2.5 – 3 teaspoon or to taste

Ghee   –   3 tablespoons

Yogurt   –   1/2 cup, whisked

Oil   –   1/2 cup

Water   –   5 cups




Wash the paya thoroughly. Boil the paya in some water for 15 minutes and drain.

Heat oil in a deep pressure cooker.

Sautè onions till it turns slightly brown.

Add ginger garlic paste, tomatoes and sautè for a couple of minutes.

Add in cumin seeds, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well.

Add paya and mix.

Now add 5 cups of water.

Close the pressure cooker with weight on.

After the first whistle, cook for 25-30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, turn off the flame and release the pressure.

Open the lid and keep the cooker on medium flame.

Add ghee and whisked yogurt and mix well.

Finally add garam masala and turn off the flame.

Mutton paya is ready.

This is one dish that should be served really HOT…



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