Paya is a traditional and nutritious food from Pakistan.
|Alternative names||Siri Paya|
|Type||Soup or curry|
|Place of origin||Central Asia and South Asia|
|Region or state||Pakistan and Bangladesh|
|Main ingredients||Trotters or hoof (cow, buffalo, or sheep), onions, tomatoes, garlic, curry powder and other spices|
|Cookbook: Paya Media: Paya|
It is also served at various festivals and treated to special guests and people who get together. Paaya means Legs in Urdu.
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 the South Asian subcontinent.
Subsequently, paya became popular all over present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is also available in restaurants serving Pakistani cuisines outside South Asia. It is especially very famous in Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi of Pakistan.
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.
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.