Sunday, December 26, 2010
Today for the first time in my life I tried Paye - a curry made up of feet of cow and dollops of moist chunks of beef, garnished with chopped ginger, coriander and eaten with traditional naan. And boy, was it tasty! Mouth-watering and finger-lickin' good*drools*. I was even tempted to lick my plate in the end to get the last drop of sunshiny gravy goodness.
And yes, you did read right. Not hallucinating or losing your mind. The dish is actually made up of cow feet. I know... I couldn't believe it myself! When my father brought cow feet from the market yesterday, I was absolutely disgusted by them specially since the cow feet- including the hooves- still had some hair on them :S my mother had to clean and scrub them thoroughly before putting them up for boil. Even after observing the cleaning process, I couldn't imagine myself tasting a bit of the curry... it was of cow feet after all! And- yet- when they were ready and the aroma of the gravy and meat was wafting through the house, I could not resist but wander towards the pot in the kitchen, lifting the lid and losing myself in the the dark brown depths of the bubbling curry. The smell was rich, warming and satisfying. It alone could fill an empty stomach.
My mother had actually kept a family paya party today. It was sort of a one-dish party since paya - by themselves - are considered equal to a table full of dishes. I soon understood why. My entire extended family dived right into the dish as soon as it was served, taking bits of naan and thoroughly soaking them with gravy and slurping each piece in one go, all the time licking their fingers and exclaiming of the great richness and flavour of the meat and gravy. I learned that the bony parts of the feet are taken to be very tasty and people often suck on them like lollipops! It looked that way to me. Anyway, watching everyone enjoying paya like it was Biryani, I got curious and took some in a bowl (since it was like soup). It did not look like cow feet at all now! In fact, it looked just like Nihari - another popular meat dish. And it tasted equally good... I was loving it!
And so now I know why people are soooo crazy about it! Ironic though, that the tastiest part of a cow is it's feet! :)
P.S. just in case your wondering why the dish is called 'paya', paya is the word for 'feet' in Urdu.
Posted by Cookie at 2:07 PM