Paya (food)

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Paya
Paya Curry.JPG
Paya curry
Alternative names Siri Paya
Type Soup or curry
Course Breakfast
Place of origin Central Asia and South Asia
Region or state India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
Main ingredients Trotters or hoof (cow, goat, buffalo or sheep), onions, tomatoes, garlic, curry powder and other spices
Cookbook: Paya  Media: Paya
A man in Peshawar selling the ingredients for Goat Siri Paya

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

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

Origins[edit]

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.[1]

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 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Punjab region.

Recipes[edit]

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 long coriander leaves, along with fresh sliced lemon.[3]

Cooking methods[edit]

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.

Variations[edit]

There are many variations[4] of this dish. A popular variation is Siri Paya (سری پایا),[5] where siri means the head of an 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]

References[edit]