Friday, September 27, 2013

Aatukaal Paya | Mutton Paya | South-Indian Style Paya

Are you a pure vegetarian? Then am sorry, this post is not for you. I must say this disclaimer for the vegetarian readers because some of the pics may look yuck. But for the non-veg eaters!!! Here I come… this must be a visual treat for you. 

Paya is something which is made with smoked lamb/goat leg. I got these lamb feet from a Mexican shop. They call the lamb feet as paya as like we call in India. The lamb feet have lots of hairs in it and it is very difficult to clean. Hence it is burnt out to get rid of it. In India, I used to get the smoked leg which the butcher used to make in the shop. He has a stove and he directly flames the hairy parts in the leg. Here in US, they give it as such and I need to do the smoking part. If u gets the smoked leg, wash directly and start cooking.

Traditionally the lamb feet are cooked very slowly using wood or charcoal. I still remember my neighbor doing this the day before till the whole night. It’s been cooked in slow flame till the morning. This gives a smoky flavor to the lamb feet and it tastes delicious when it is served with the curry.
Lamb feet are very nutritious and it can be given to the convalescents for recovering from illness. It has lots of protein and calcium value. Lamb feet has good source for Vitamin B12 also. I have heard that it is also served for people with fractures to recover from it.

Serve this delicious-spiced Aatukaal Paya with Idli, Idiyappam, Dosa, Parotta, aapam. 

Preparation time: 30 mins(for smoking it)
Cooking time: 1/2- 1 hour


5 nos Lamb feet/goat feet
1 ½ tsp turmeric powder (for cleaning)
Oil 1tbsp
 2 onions
2-3 tomatoes
1 ½ tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 green chillies
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2tsp Grated coconut
2 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
2-3 bay leaves
Coriander leaves (to garnish)

How to make it

  • I bought these lamb feet which has so much of meat in it. It was already cleaned thoroughly, even though I rubbed it with turmeric powder to get rid of the smell. Wash it twice or thrice.

  • It has small hairy substance, so I smoked it in my oven. Keep in oven for 10-15 mins or even more. If u feels the hair is all gone, continue the next step. I again followed the step of smoking it directly in the flame which gives the feet a black tone/smoky feel.

  • Once the hair is all burnt, I washed it again. Then cook the feet in a pressure cooker for 8-10 whistles. The skin should be easily removed from the bone and this must be the right consistency. Reserve the water for making the curry. 

 For the curry

  • In a wok heat oil and splutter bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves.

  • Add the finely chopped onions and sauté till it turns translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste to the onions, throw the green chillies. Use curry leaves if u have (if don’t find any in my place).

  • Cook till the raw smell of ginger and garlic leaves. Add the chopped tomatoes. Mash it with the ladle and cook till gooey.

  • Add the spice powder – chilli, coriander and turmeric powder and mix well. Turn down the flame and make sure the powders are not getting burnt.

  • Add the reserved water (used to cook the feet) and make a gravy.(add some more water if needed) Let it boil for some time and then add the cleaned and smoked lamb feet to the gravy.

  • Blend the lamb feet with the curry. Cook in medium flame. Once the feet blends well with the curry, add the coconut paste and mix.

  • Keep for 2-3 mins in medium flame. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

  1. Make sure twice or thrice the hairy part is completely burnt and cleaned properly. Else it may lead to indigestion.
  2. I cooked the feet in pressure cooker for more than 30mins. I cooked it in low-medium flame which took me that much time.
  3.  I kept it for ten whistles nearly and the meat becomes very soft. Alter ur whistle level based on the meat texture and the cooker ur using it.
  4. The skin will leave out fatty substances, so restrict adding much oil to the gravy.
  5. The water used to cook the lamb feet can be taken as such as a soup. And they name it has aatu kaal soup. Just flavor it with salt and pepper and given it a temper to it. It tastes delicious.