Paya (food)

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Paya Curry.JPG
Paya curry
Alternative namesSiri Paya
TypeSoup or curry
Place of originSouth Asia
Associated national cuisineBangladesh, India , Sri Lanka, Pakistan
Main ingredientsTrotters or hoof (goat, beef, buffalo, or sheep), onions, tomatoes, garlic, curry powder and other spices

Paya[1] is a traditional food from the Indian Subcontinent.

It is served at various festivals and gatherings, or made for special guests. Paaya means 'legs' in Hindi. [2]

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


The paya originated from the amalgamation of South and Central Asian cuisine. In Central Asia, it was known as pacha. The dish was adapted to the local cuisines by the Muslim cooks of Lahore, Hyderabad of Telangana State and Lucknow.[3]

Subsequently, paya became popular all over present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Outside the Indian subcontinent, is also available in restaurants that serve South Asian cuisine. In Delhi it is sometimes also referred to as "khurode" from the "khur" or hoof.


Paya Curry cooked in Marathi Style

Recipes for this dish vary regionally. The soup base is created by sautéed onions and garlic, where a number of curry-based spices are then added to the meat and bones. The cooked dish is served with a garnish of fresh diced ginger and fresh long coriander leaves, along with fresh sliced lemon.[4]

Cooking methods[edit]

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

Historically, when people used wood or coal as a cooking fuel, preparation this dish would start at night, slow cooking 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[5] of this dish. A popular variation is siri paya (سری پایا, सिरी पाया),[6] where siri means the head of an animal and paya means the feet. It is considered a delicacy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tamil Attukaal Paya (ஆட்டுக்கால் பாயா)" (in Tamil). Vikatan. 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  2. ^ "पाया (Paya) meaning in English - पाया मीनिंग - Translation". Hinkhoj. 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Paya In Shorba & Salan". Upper Crust Magazine. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  4. ^ Bapsi Sidhwa (2005). City of Sin and Splendour: Writings on Lahore. Penguin Books.
  5. ^ Paya recipes |
  6. ^ Special Siri Paye (Mutton Trotters) سپیشل سری پائے - Chef Shazia