Payee is a traditional food of the subcontinent. Though it is more popular in Punjab, there is also a wide range of spots selling payee across Karachi.
The main ingredients of the dish are the trotters (or hoofs) of a goat, sheep or a cow cooked with various species. It is usually eaten as a breakfast dish in the winter months.
The payee has a long history and is popular in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is cooked on mild heat for hours (usually overnight) until you get a thick consistency and spices are added to the meat and bones.
Then it is served with a garnish of diced coriander leaves, garlic and fresh lemon accompanied with a naan. We visited three spot in Karachi to find some delicious payee.
Haji Aslam Hotel –Star Gate
The shop’s owner tells us people of Karachi are fond of eating payee and come to them from far-off areas. The shop has been selling payee since 1978 which makes them in the business for more than forty years with satisfied customers.
Goat payee are available throughout the year. The hotel prepares them in desi ghee with a secret home recipe he was unwilling to share. He assures us that payee have no side-effects. We will take his word. A plate of payee costs Rs200.
Mullah Nihari – University Road
Mullah Nihari located on the Main University Road has been serving payee for the past 20 years. The shopkeeper tells us they cook Delhi-style payee with their own home recipe.
He said payee are popular during winter months. They start selling at 10 AM but if you are heading by mid-afternoon, you might return disappointed. A plate of plain payee is available for Rs200 while nalli payee (with bone marrow) is for Rs300.
Raees Restaurant – Landhi/Korangi
Our last stop was at Raees Ahmed Arain Restaurant located at the intersection between Korangi and Landhi No. 6. The shopkeeper tells us the owner start selling payee over 12 years ago.
The hotel uses the recipe from the owner’s mother who gave her home recipe. Now it is being looked after his sister. This gives it a home-cooked taste not like the usual restaurants.
“Come and try our payee. If you don’t like it, we won’t even charge you,” the shopkeeper said gleaming. The price of one plate of delicious payee is Rs300.