March 03, 2008

Aatukaal Soup/Paaya Soup/ Mutton Soup

I know I am not going to find much takers for this soup, given the effort and that its a pure non vegetarian soup from my hometown. It's similar in taste to the French Onion Soup but its without the cheese and the bread. It's a clear soup back home but I like to chew on some tiny morsels of meat and cooked shallots to add texture so I added some of that to the soup.

As a kid I never used to like this soup due to its intense meaty taste and murky coloring but I like it sometimes now. My mom never made this frequently during my childhood but now she fed me this, post-delivery to regain strength and vitality. I used to laugh at the restorative powers of this soup but now my mom and other aunts make it often as their backs are catching up with their age.

My grandma always says this soup is good during monsoons and cold weather to get rid of all body aches and pains, probably due to the medicinal properties of the fenugreek and shallots. She makes it with the leftover mutton pieces after Bakrid or any big family function. I don't know how true it is, but apparently the bones also add to the medicinal powers of the soup.
But I do know that the fenugreek is known for its extensive value for nursing mothers and is excellent for post-delivery recovery and for any kind of arthritic pain. It's also good for recovering patients and convalescents.

I am sure some of my cousins and family members will remember this soup and try it at least once. For the queasy ones, the next one is a vegetarian one..

You will need:
Mutton - 1-2 pounds
Onion-1 medium sized one
Red Shallots- A handful(10-12)
Fennel Seeds- 1 tablespoon
Black Pepper (Whole)-1 teaspoon
Fenu greek Seeds-one and half tablespoon
Water- 4 cups
Cilantro to garnish
Salt to taste

Clean and wash the bones. Select some pieces with a bit of meat on it too.
Chop the onions and powder the fennel seeds.
Take a pressure cooker and cook the pieces with the onions, and all other spices as specified above. You would have to cook for about 20 -30 minutes on very low heat after the whistle.
Remove the lid after the cooker has sufficiently cooled down and remove the pieces with meat on it. Reserve the meat and a couple of spoonfuls of the fenugreek-onion from the stock. Remove all the bones and then mash the remaining stock and the onions with a blender or back of a spoon. Strain the liquid through a medium sieve.
Adjust the salt of the strained soup and add the reserved onions and the meat pieces. Garnish with fresh cilantro and pepper. Serve hot.

Related Links:
Another spicy version of the Mutton Soup.


Pravs said...

yuuuuuuummy !! slurp slurp :) Love this soup. Remember this soup made by my mom...but no fennel and fenugreek. Have to try with these 2ingredients to know the difference. Looks so yummy.

Sig said...

oh yummm... I've had this long time ago... Thanks for the recipe Shaheen, we are going to try this for sure!

Sagari said...

delecious soup love it

Mishmash ! said...

telepathy! I was talking to mummy this morning about this soup...ours is very very fennel and fenugreek and big onion...just the clear soup with a simple small onion seasoning...

Miri said...

You'd be surprised.....Hubby who was raised a vegetarian and who started eating meat much later in life, sticks to mostly chicken and fish and is happy eating meat just once in a way. BUT paya soup is something he luurves....I have tasted this just once - my Syrian Christian landlady prepared it specially for me when I was laid up in bed some years back. It was delicious! But I still stay away from the stuff dished out in "military hotels"!
Your versions looks like my landlady's :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Shaheen. I make this and enjoy it too. Should try it with fenugreek though. My kids turn their nose up at this just the same way I did when I was their age.

Purnima said...

Shaheen, the soup seems to be truly good for health! I was given this info by grandma post delivery, was fed liver dishes with loads of uluva which truly made me energetic! Tks for sharing this soup!

Meera said...

Yum!! There is a restaurant called "Delhi Darbar" in Bombay. Along with their famous Biryani, this is their most famous soup. Yours looks equally fantastic!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!:-)

Sumitha said...

I have heard of the benefits of this soup too but never got around eating it.Now I feel I must give up my prejudice towards it and try it.Thanks for the recipe!

renuramanath said...

hi shaheen, this was one of my childhood nightmares ! though raised in a family of die-hard vegetarians, my parents had taken extra efforts to feed me with this soup for years in childhood, obviously due to its medicinal benefits. they had arranged someone to bring home the bones and i used to loathe his appearance everyday ! given all that, there's no doubt questioning its medicinal properties, which is said to do good for your bones.

indosungod said...

Shaheen that is one slurpable soup for sure, this was cooked once in a blue moon at home that I actually loved it.

Kalai said...

Delicious!! I love this soup. Will be posting my version (little different) soon! Nice post, Shaheen! :)

Mallugirl said...

pravs..would love to know how ur mom makes it.:)

Sig, i guess most of the mallus must have tasted it some time or the other. Do cook it on simmer for a lot of time.

SAgari, thanks!

Shn,no spices at all? if u like the taste of fenugreek, u will like this flavor, else u can tone it down a bit by adding less of it.

Miri, military hotels?it is a surprising cross section of people who like hub raised as a non vegetarian doesn't care for this soup!!

Asha, now i want ur recipe.. looks like there is a muslim version adn a christian version to this let me know. fenugreek is strong so try in small quantities.

purnima, my mom was feeding me uluva payasam!!but that tastes so yummy!
liver with uluva..whew..that must be something!!

meera, i know delhi durbar in bombay.. best place for mughal food!!their chicken shorba and tandoori was amazing ..gosh i am drooling !!

sumitha, try it, maybe now u may like it but no guarantees!!

indo, thot u might like u make it now?

renu, die hard vegetarians making u drink this soup!!thats news to me, i thot this was purely a nonveg fetish. i am sure it was off putting for u!:)

kalai, looking forward to ur soup soon. lets link it up then.

Jyothsna said...

THanks for posting this, I was telling my hubby yday that I have to lay my hands on the recipe for this soup! Paya soup in Bombay generally has a lot of spice in it.

Nat said...

I thought paya soup had the hoof and a bit of the leg bone simmering in it no? Maybe my mum took it too literally lol!
I remember it made me feel very junglee... am gonna try this easy on the imagination version though.

Revathi said...

The last time I had this prepared by my thatha. Bringing back some memories!!!

Paaya clears up all sinus and my mom claims that it is intense heat to the body. That also explains y your grandma prepared it during monsoons.

Wonderful clear soup.. I love markandam/nenjelumbu soup and the maneeral soup ! Ok I am looking a monster in my ownn eyes !!

rashmi said...

are u kidding ? i will do anything to get that soup..i remember having this soup long back....i just luv it.....i will try it this evening .....

Mandira said...

I've never had this Shaheen, but would love to try this. Sounds absolutely delicious.

Anonymous said...

last time i would hav had this was after delivary....but i do believe in its restorative powers..i remember i felt stronger after 3 days of this..


lan said...

this brought back memories as this was made in our home only for someone's post delivery care. me being a tag along with anyone was also served it along with the person under care:-)had it not been for your post i don't think i'd have remembered this at all! thanks..

renuramanath said...

not only this soup, inji. i was also fed spoonfuls of cod liver oil, mind you, not the pearly capsules, but REAL, stinking cod liver oil that will turn the stomach of the most crazy fishiterian ! i don't eat fish because i have had all the cod to last a lifetime !

Anonymous said... the question that is in my mind it a use and throw product? mean u can use the bones only once? and another doubt is whether u can try this soup during the 9th month of ur pregnancy? pls ans me sis, thanks for it!!

kirat said...


tresa said...

my mom makes this soup but with garlic shallots and cummin only and garnished with finely sliced fried shallots and curryleaves in pure ghee.