Mutton paye is a traditional Pakistani recipe that is hearty and healthy. Mutton paye are the feet of a goat that are cleaned and cooked on a low flame for 5-6 hours to get a broth that is usually eaten with naan or roti (flatbread). Paye are eaten in Punjab for breakfast and is a staple dish on Eid ul Azha.
The important step in making delicious paye is to cook them at low flame that brings out their flavor.
I have always had an aversion for food like brain masala, siri and paye. I never ventured into cooking these dishes. Once women get married, they have to do so many things that they least expect themselves to be doing. On Eid ul Azha we had paye left after the qurbani (animal sacrifice), I took the plunge and had the paye’s cleaned by the butcher and tried cooking them. My Kashmiri cooking genes came in handy (my mother’s recipe in simple words) and the paye turned out amazing. The recipe doesn’t call for any boxed mixes that are used nowadays. This is a traditional recipe handed down to me by my mother. A no-fail recipe that will surely make you win stomachs (hearts I meant).
- The paye have hair which are cleaned by the butcher and then they are cleaned by smearing atta (wheat flour) on them and rubbing it on them. This helps to remove the smell.
- Mutton paye – 1 ½ dozen
- Onions – 2 medium sized chopped
- Garlic cloves – 18 (chop into paste)
- Black cardamom – 4
- Cinnamon – 3 (2-inch pieces)
- White cumin powder – 1 ½ tsp
- Coriander powder 1 ½ tsp
- Oil – 1 cup
- Chaat masala to taste
- Salt to taste
- Paye Masala – ¾ tsp used
- Nutmeg centerpiece pea sized
- Mace 1.5 inch piece
- Cloves – 6
- Black cumin ½ tsp
- Cinnamon – 2-inch piece
Grind them all together and keep it aside.
- Take oil in a pan and fry the onions in it. When they turn brown, wash the paye, take off the wheat flour coated on them, and fry them in the pan. Add the garlic paste and then fry them again. Fry them for a while and keep adding a bit of water so the masala (spice) doesn’t burn.
- Add the whole spice in the paye and fry more. Keep adding the coriander and cumin powder and fry the paye so the smell goes away. Add water in the paye after the masala has been added and they have been bhonofied.
- If there is a shortage of time, then they can be cooked in a cooker with water and given a pressure of 10 minutes with around six glasses of water. If not, place on a low flame for 2 hours and keep checking from time to time to ensure they don’t burn.
- After the water has dried, fry them and add ½ tsp of the paye masala. When the oil is separated from the masala and there is no more smell, that means paye masala is prepared. If the bones are still hard, either give pressure or place on the flame on low heat.
- Do not add all the paye masala in one go otherwise it can cause a bitter taste. Paye gravy shouldn’t be too thin or thick but a medium consistency is perfect.
- For the tarka (seasoning), take the onion and fry it in ¼ cup oil and when it turns brown, add ½ tsp chaat masala and top this on the dish the paye is served in.
- Sidelines include green chilies, lemons cut in cubes, thinly cut slices of ginger, freshly chopped coriander, fried brown onion and chaat masala.
- Serve it hot with the sidelines and naan.