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Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Plain Salna

 Published 2020-May-18   Updated 2020-May-18

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Empty Chalna, Rottu Kadai Salna, Parotta Salna)

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In most restaurants and small road side shops, there is one standard plain gravy that is made every day. It is served with every tiffin item irrespective of the side dish we order. Yes, it's called the Plain Salna or Empty Chalna.

This plain Salna does not have any vegetables or meat. Yet it is so delicious!. Chapati or parotta soaked up in this salna tastes out of the world. Try this delicious curry.

Recipe For Plain Salna

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6


  • Onion - 1
  • Small onions - 7-8
  • Tomatoes -2 big
  • Ginger - 1" piece
  • Garlic - 6-7 cloves
  • Green chili - 2
  • Coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Pottu kadalai (Roasted gram) - 1 tsp
  • Kasa kasa - 1/2 tsp
  • Mint leaves - 4-5
  • Coriander leaves - handful
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/2" piece, Cloves - 2, Cardamom - 2, Kalpasi - 2
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chilies - 3-4
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chili powder - 1-2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1-2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 4 tbsp


  1. In a pan, heat oil, add cinnamon, cloves, Cardamom, fennel seeds, black peppercorns and dry red chilies.
  2. Add small onions, garlic, ginger and 1 green chili. Saute for few minutes.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for sometime.
  4. Now add grated coconut, kasa kasa, pottu kadalai, mint leaves and little coriander leaves. Toss everything together and switch off.
  5. Cool this and make a puree with some water.
  6. In a kadai, add 2-3 tbsp oil. Pop mustard seeds, curry leaves.
  7. Add chopped onion and green chili... Saute for few minutes...
  8. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder with little water... Cook for a minute.
  9. Add the masala puree that we prepared with required salt. Add water to make it into a thin gravy.
  10. Boil it and cook for 15-20 minutes till oil separates from the salna.
  11. Finally add fresh curry leaves and coriander leaves and switch off.

Serving Suggestion

  • THis delicious plain salna goes well with parotta, chapati, kal dosai, idiyappam or aapam.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2020-05-18.