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Mutton Paya (Aatukal Paya)

 Published 2017-May-11   Updated 2017-Jul-31

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Mutton Leg Curry, Aatu Kaal Paya, Goat Leg Paaya)

Paya Curry is a popular dish made with slight variations in most Asian countries. It is made with the legs of the goat and hence gets its name (Paya means Legs). In Tamilnadu, mutton paaya is usually made for breakfast on special days. The unbeatable combinations are aapam with paaya and idiyappam with paaya. This is also found in reataurants.

Mutton Paya, locally known as Aatukal paya has a very creamy gravy with an intense flavour that comes from cooking the legs of the goat. The legs are cooked long enough until it breaks down and releases its essence into the gravy. Aatu kal soup is also served for sick patients to regain their health. It is a unque dish, the flavour of which is incomparabale. I encourage everyone to try making this today and experience the taste yourself.

Recipe for Mutton Paya

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4


  • Goat legs – 1 (about ½ kg)
  • Big Onion – 1
  • Small Onion – 150 gm
  • Tomatoes – 3
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
  • Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Green Chilies – 3 (slit)
  • Red Chili Powder – 1.5 tbsp
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  • Fennel Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Poppy Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Coriander Leaves – handful (chopped)
  • Salt -  to taste
  • Oil -  2 tbsp


  1. Carefully scape the black burnt portion of the goat legs. Be careful not to tear away the flesh. Just gently try to remove as much black as possible.
  2. Wash and soak the legs for about 15 minutes in some cold water. Drain the water.
  3. Take the legs in a pressure cooker.
  4. Also add chopped onions, half of the chopped tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder,2 tsp of red chili powder, 2 tsp of coriander powder and salt.
  5. Also add about 2 cups of water. Switch on the heat and bring to a boil.
  6. Close the cooker and let it cook for 10-15 whistles. The bones should break down and give out its essence. Only then the curry will get a good taste.
  7. In the meantime, grind 1 tsp of fennel seeds, poppy seeds and grated coconut with some water to a smooth paste. It should be very smooth, almost like thick coconut milk. Keep this aside.
  8. Heat oil in a kadai and add 1 tsp of fennel seeds. Add shallots and slit green chilies. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add the rest of the tomatoes and saute for about 5 minutes.
  10. Add 2 tsp of red chili powder and 1 tsp of coriander powder at this stage.
  11. Sieve the ground coconut paste to extract a thick coconut milk. Add this to the masala. Bring it to boil.
  12. Open the pressure cooker. Add the cooked goat legs along with all the liquid.
  13. Check for salt and add as needed. Also, adjust the consistency of the gravy by adding additional water if needed. Usually paya curry has a very diluted consistency.
  14. Boil again. Reduce the flame and simmer for about 10 minutes. Mutton paya is ready to be served.

Serving Suggestion

  • Mutton Paya is an excellent combination with all South Indian tiffin varieties like aapam, idiyappam, kal dosa, idli or parotta.
  • It also tastes great with bread and chapatti.

More Mutton Recipes

Mutton Masala Mutton Masala Shahi Mutton Shahi Mutton Mutton Biryani Mutton Biryani Mutton Curry Mutton Curry
See more...

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 Published by on and last updated on 2017-07-31.