Paya is a traditional breakfast dish of Pakistan. It is also served at various festivals and treated to special guests and get togethers. The main ingredients of the dish are the trotters of a cow, goat or lamb, cooked with various spices. It is slow cooked on low heat for hours (usually over night) on stove. However, nowadays it is mostly cooked in a pressure cooker but the pressure cooker cooked pays are no match to the slow cooked ones. 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. The consistency of this curry is more soup like and is usually eaten as a breakfast food in the winter months with naans.
6 mutton payas
½ cup oil
½ cup yogurt
2 medium onions sliced
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 medium tomatoes (optional)
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 & 1/2 tsp red chili powder (you can add up to 3 tsp, or add less if you prefer)
1 & 1/2 tsp salt (add more if required)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 stick cinnamon
1 big black cardamom
7-8 black pepper corns
1 tsp dhania powder
1 tsp garma masala powder
4-5 green chilies
Fresh coriander and ginger for garnish
1) Wash the payas nicely, make sure they are clean, you can use a plastic scrub brush to wash them properly, take a large pot, add in 6-8 cups of water, add in the payas (add in one onion, 6 cloves of garlic, one bay leaf, 4-5 pepper corns, 2-3 cloves, 1 small stick of cinnamon, 1 large cardmom, 1 bay leaf) bring to boil, then lower the flame cover the pan and let it cook for about 5-6 hours on low flame. You should be left with 4-5 of stock.
2) Once the payas are done, heat the oil in a pan and fry onions on medium flame till they turn golden brown. Remove them from oil and drain on paper, next add the chopped tomatoes and fried onions in to a blender and blend well till you get a smooth paste.
3) Reheat the pan and add the ginger garlic paste, followed by the blended tomato and onion paste. Add in salt, cumin seeds, chili powder, turmeric powder, cloves, black cardamom, green cardamoms, black pepper corns and cinnamon stick; fry it well adding a few splashes of water every now and then until the oil is released from the sides. Add in the boiled payas and fry well for 5-6 minutes on medium high heat, next add the whipped yogurt and cook until the gravy gets thick and cooked through.
4) Next, add in the remaining stock form boiled payas (make sure t sive it) once th curry simmers, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Let it cook on low heat for another hour or till the gravy reaches your desired consistency, adjust salt, add the coriander powder and garam masala and green chilies mix it with a spoon, cover the pan and let it cook for further 3-4 minutes, turn off the heat. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with naans.