Paya (food)

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Paya Curry.JPG
Paya curry
Type Soup
Course Breakfast
Main ingredients Trotters or hoof (cow, goat or lamb), onions, tomatoes, garlic, curry spices
Cookbook:Paya  Paya
A man in Peshawar selling the ingredients for goat Siri Paya

Paya (Hindi: पाया) is a traditional Indian food.[1] It is also served at various festivals and treated to special guests and get togethers. Paaya means feet in Hindi and Urdu.[2]

The main ingredients of the dish are the hoof (trotters) of a cow, goat, Water buffalo or lamb; cooked with various spices.


The origin of Paya lies in Central Asian cuisine, brought to South Asia by the Persians. The dish was adapted to the local local cuisines by the Muslim cooks of Hyderabad and Lucknow.[1]

Subsequently, Paya became popular all over the 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 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab region.


Recipes for this dish vary regionally. The soup base is created by sauteed onions, tomatoes, and garlic to which a number of curry-based spices are added. The cooked dish is served with a garnish of fresh diced ginger and fresh long coriander leaves along with fresh sliced lemon.[3]

Cooking methods[edit]

It is slow cooked on low heat for hours (usually over night) on stove. However, nowadays it is 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.


There are many variations[4] of this dish a popular variation is Siri Paya (سری پایا)[5] siri means the head of the animal and paya means the feet. It is considered a delicacy.

Some of the most famous outlets for Siri paya are in Lahore.[6][7]

See also[edit]