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January 1, 2013

Mutton Paya Soup

Recipe and photos by SEEMA IQBAL

Paya Soup is the lamb trotters’ soup cooked with Indian spices in Indian style, a delicacy that every non-vegetarian household would love to taste once in a while.  It holds not only a high place in soup family but also the tastiest and healthiest among all soups.  Whether it is growing children or new mothers, recuperating patients or undernourished ones, this amazing soup works like magic!  Though traditionally this yummy and nutritious soup is cooked overnight on slow flame, I am giving a quick recipe here for easy cooking that gives the same great taste.  Let us gather the required ingredients first:


Ingredients - group 1

1.  Paya OR lamb trotters: 4 - 6 Nos (cleaned and cut, bone in)

2.  Water: 6 cups

3.  Onion (medium size, chopped): 3 - 4 Nos.

4.  Tomato (medium size chopped): 2 Nos.

5.  Green chilies (slit): 2 Nos.

6.  Ginger-garlic paste: 1 ½ Tablespoons

7.  Turmeric powder:  ¼ Tablespoon

8.  Salt: to taste

Ingredients - group 2

1.  Pepper powder:  1 Tablespoon

2.  Cumin powder: ½ Tablespoon

3.  Coriander leaves (cilantro):  2 tablespoon (finely chopped)

Ingredients - group 3 (Optional, for tempering)

1.  Onion (small size finely chopped lengthwise): 1 No.

2.  Desi ghee/clarified butter: 2 Tablespoon

Ingredients - group 4

1.  Coriander leaves (coarsely chopped): 2 Tablespoonful for garnishing.

Step by step method for easy cooking:


Step 1: In a pressure-cooker add cleaned paya, water, onion, tomato, green chilies, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt (all ingredients listed under group 1) then cover the lid.  Cook until the trotters/paya is very well done.  It might take 8 to 10 whistles or a couple more if paya is not tender.  At this stage the meat should literally fall off the bone, that is when you know paya is done.

Step 2: Once the pressure from the cooker is released, now open the lid slowly and add pepper powder, cumin powder and chopped cilantro (ingredients listed under group 2), then mix once and cook further for 3 - 4 minutes.

Step 3: Take a tempering pan and heat desi ghee/clarified butter.  Once ghee is hot add finely sliced onion (ingredients listed under group 3) and fry it on medium heat till the onion turns to nice brown color.  Now, immediately pour the tempering into the soup, cover it at once and keep it covered for 2 more minutes.

Step 4: Transfer the soup to a serving bowl or ideally use a porcelain soup bowl, garnish with chopped coriander leaves (ingredient mentioned in group 4).  The yummy yummy quick soup is ready to enjoy!  Serve it with bread slices, any Indian roti, dosa or idly! Bon appétit.


Important and useful tips:

1. Lamb trotters (lamb legs, or even goat legs) are usually burnt and partly cleaned before being sold.  Sometimes it is available skin removed, hence easy to clean.  But always the burnt ones are better, also adds to the taste and brings intense flavor.

2. If you happen to bring pre-burnt trotters make sure that you have cleaned even the smallest hair strands.

3. Use freshly ground pepper and cumin powder for robust aroma.

4. Avoid the use of Ghee Tadka (tempering) when serving to those who are advised not to consume ghee.

Mutton Paya Soup


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