Paya ka saalan

Paya a famous and favourite of all in muslim community in india, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other parts of the world and others who love trotters. Paya means trotters or feet of goat, lamb or cow. It has a different aroma and taste. It is made in curry form (gravy or saalan in urdu). In chennai it is popular as aatukaal paya soup, basically it is served as a soup, especially in winters or as a thin curry, can be eaten with Idli , Aapam, plain rice . It is a spicy curry or soup rich with gelatine from marrow bones. It is my comfort and rich food for me. It has to be eaten when you are free and it is a holiday and all your family members are at home.

It can be lamb or goats paya (trotters). In my home it is served with chapathi(roti) and in my mother in laws house idiyapam, set dosa or with a just plain rice. After cooking paya in a pressure cooker, the meat becomes soft. While cooking paya I added few bones of lamb or mutton, if available at home, just for the taste and flavour. Sometimes I make paya curry without tomatoes also, it tastes delicious, can view the pictures.


  1. Paya (trotters) made into small pieces - 6 legs
  2. For cooking paya

  3. Water(required amount) - 7 cups approx
  4. Cloves - 5
  5. Green cardamom - 2
  6. Cinnamon sticks 2 inch - 1
  7. Ginger and garlic paste - 2 tbsp
  8. Turmeric powder - 1tsp
  9. For gravy

  10. Onion medium size - 4 (chopped)
  11. Tomato medium size - 4 (chopped)
  12. Ginger and garlic paste - 2 tbsp
  13. Green chillies slit - 4 to 5 slit
  14. Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
  15. Coriander powder - 2tbsp or 2 1/2 tbsp
  16. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  17. Oil - 4 tbsp
  18. Salt - as per taste
  19. Wholespices: Cloves - 3, Green Cardamom - 3, Cinnamon sticks (2 inch) - 1
  20. Saunf seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
  21. corriander leaves 1/4 cup or a handful (chopped well)


    Cooking paya

  1. First cook paya with all the ingredients in a pressure cooker until the paya is soft and tender.
  2. If it is not cooked properly but the water is reduced, add 1 more cup of water and pressure cook for some more time. Paya takes a long time to cook - it takes more time than any other meat. You can cook in a vessel also, but it will take much more time. When paya is cooked, keep it aside.
  3. Gravy

  4. Now heat a big vessel or a wide kadai and add oil. When the oil gets warm add saunf seeds and wholespices. After 15 seconds, add chopped onion and cook it until it is light brown and soft.
  5. Now add ginger and garlic paste, stir for a minute and then add tomatoes, green chillies and all the dry masalas(spices). Cook for about 2 minutes until the spices are well roasted. Add 1 cup water and cook until all the tomatoes are smashed, spices are cooked and oil starts to appear on top and a gravy consistency is reached.
  6. Can add few bones of lamb or goat meat, when adding the spices and cook like gravy, for the taste and more flavour, but it is just additional, not a must.
  7. Add the cooked paya with its stock and cook for further 10 minutes on medium flame until the gravy becomes a little thick. You can make the gravy according to your consistency. If it becomes too thick, add water and cook.
  8. Add coriander leaves and simmer for another 10 minutes until you see oil on top.
  9. There should be a lot of gravy as it is eaten with roti or idiyappam.


  1. Always cook paya first. Only then you will know how much paya stock you have and how much water you need to add while cooking the gravy. If you have enough quantity of paya stock, then you dont need to add water to the gravy.
  2. You can alter the quantity of chilli powder according to your taste.
  3. If  you want can simmer the flame, when the paya and its stock is added and cook for 20min.
  4. Can view in the picture, the oil is separated from the gravy.
  5. I have made this curry without tomatoes which tastes delicious.