Skip to main content

Tirunelveli Salna for Parotta - Empty Salna for Parotta and Chapathi

Salna - this flavorful gravy is a super side dish for parotta that everyone will like it. Last year tasted this salna with parotta in a hotel in Tirunelveli. The gravy in this salna has a blend of flavours from the spices. The onions and tomatoes are sauted with ginger garlic paste and slowly simmered in the coconut masala paste for 20 minutes, allowing time to blend everything together. 

How to make Tirunelveli Salna

To prepare this salna, these are the ingredients you will need

1. Ginger garlic paste - these two are the key for adding flavour. For salna, we have to add a good amount of ginger garlic paste when compared to other gravies. Try to use homemade fresh ginger garlic paste for this salna.

2. Onions, tomatoes and green chillies - these three are the main ingredients for any gravies. I have used both sliced tomato and ground tomato for this salna, as it gives a beautiful colour and taste for the gravy. 

3. Chilly powder, coriander powder and garamasala powder - these three are the star ingredients for the gravy. For gravies like kurma and salna, I always prefer normal red chilly powder rather than Kashmiri chilly powder. You can use anyone as you like. For garamasala powder, depending on which brand you use, you may need to add more or use less quantity since some brands have more flavour. 

4. Coconut masala paste - this coconut masala paste gives the salna a delicious taste and lingering flavour. Fresh coconut, fennel, peanuts, poppy seeds and cashew nuts are the ingredients for this masala. Cashew nuts, poppy seeds and peanuts give the salna a nice, rich consistency. For most gravy dishes, we use cashew nuts as a thickener, but here both cashew nuts and peanuts are added. They both give a distinct flavour also. 

Tips to make perfect Salna

  1. As I told in my mushroom salna post, I prefer the pressure cooker for preparing salna. If you are preparing it in a kadai, simmer the gravy for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  2. Once adding all the ingredients, reduce heat and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles. Allow the pressure to settle down naturally and then open the pressure cooker. When you open the pressure cooker, you can see oil specks on the top of the gravy. 
  3. Adjust the thickness of the salna by adding more water to thin, if required.Do not increase the cashews and peanuts because the gravy will get thicker and you will miss the consistency.  I have added all the spices in minimal amount, you can add according to your taste buds.

Similar Recipes

Here is a short video for Tirunelveli Salna

Tirunelveli Salna for Parotta Recipe Details

Prep time : 20 minutes
Cook time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4
Category : side dish
Author : Muthulakshmi Madhavakrishnan


  • 1 onion
  • 4 tomato
  • 2 green chilly
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp chilly powder
  • 1.5 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp garamasala powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • few mint leaves
  • few coriander leaves
  • few curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp urid dal
    2 small piece cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 star aniseed
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste

For coconut masala paste

  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 2 tbsp broken cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1.5 tsp fennel

Preparation Works

Cut the onions, tomatoes and green chillies. Grind ginger and garlic cloves with little water. Grind 4 tomatoes without water.

Cooking Directions

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. You can also cook in a deep kadai but in pressure cooker it preserves the flavour nicely. Certain dishes like salna are suited to cook pressure cooker perfectly. When the oil is heated enough, add the spices one by one. When you get a nice aroma from the spices, add finely chopped onions and green chillies. 

Saute well on medium heat.Next, add the ginger garlic paste and saute well on medium heat. Do not brown them. As I told in many dishes, try to use fresh homemade ginger garlic paste for kurma and salna. 

Add the chopped tomato and curry leaves. Sauté until it turns soft. 

Now add the ground tomato and saute for another few minutes.

Next, add the red chilly powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Mix well.

Grind the coconut, cashew nuts, peanuts, poppy seeds and fennel seeds with little water. For salna dishes, no need to add more coconut as we do for kurma. Also do not increase the cashew and peanuts because salna will turn thick. 

Now add the ground coconut paste and mix well. 


Add required salt and water for the salna. Add garamasala powder and mix well. Close it with a lid. 


Pressure cook for 2 whistles. Do not hurry up. Allow the pressure to settle down naturally. Open the pressure cooker and add sugar, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Allow the salna to boil again for a minute and turn off the heat. Close it with a lid for 20 minutes and then transfer it to the serving dish.

Tirunelveli Salna is ready to serve.


Popular posts from this blog

Collection of Kuzhambu varieties for lunch

KUZHAMBU RECIPES, 20 KUZHAMBU RECIPES FOR LUNCH Kuzhambus are the foundation for a good lunch in South Indian cuisine. Although there are many rice varieties in South Indian cuisine, a bowl of rice and kuzhambu with any vegetable side dish makes our tummy happy. In this collection, I have shared many traditional Tirunelveli kuzhambu recipes. I have suggested authentic ingredients and spices in my kuzhambu recipes. If you find any spices are inconvenient, you may change according to your taste. Now let's see the collection of kuzhambu recipes here. Click on the pictures or the recipe here to view the recipe details with step by step instructions.   Collection of Kuzhambu varieties for lunch 1. Sodhi - Sodhi is one of Tirunelveli's traditional and popular kuzhambu.This kuzhambu is a special menu on the next day of marriage. A Tirunelveli wedding meal would not be complete without this Sodhi, potato poriyal and ginger chutney.  RECIPE HERE. 2. Pulikuzh

Ladies finger Pachadi - Tirunelveli Vendakka Pachadi

This is a wonderful Tirunelveli Ladies finger pachadi that is usually served with sambar and rasam. There are many versions for this recipe. This version includes ladies finger, tomato, raw mangoes and it gets flavouring from small onions, red chilly powder and asafoetida powder.  The coconut paste adds a delicious richness to the pachadi. Simple to make and a very tasty side dish for traditional South Indian meals.

Tirunelveli Kootanchoru - Mixed vegetables rice with dals and spices

Kootanchoru is a popular lunch dish from Tirunelveli. This is our family favourite rice and it is rich in nutrients as it contains lots of vegetables and dals. We prepare this rice frequently for special events and family get togethers.  In most of Tirunelveli dishes we use small onions, garlic, coconut and generous amount of jeera. In this dish also we have used coconut small onion paste and good amount of fresh vegetables. We add commonly used vegetables such as raw banana, brinjals, drumsticks, carrots, beans and potatoes. I have learned this recipe from my grandma. She taught me with her some useful tips and techniques about how to cook, when to add the ingredients and how to choose the correct vegetables. My son named as Tirunelveli biriyani for this rice.  Now let's see how to prepare this kootanchoru with step by step photos.   Here is a short video for Tirunelveli Kootanchoru

Badusha - Sweet with maida (all purpose flour, ghee and sugar) - Easy Diwali Sweet

Badusha is a popular sweet prepared with maida, ghee and sugar. Badushas are one of the favourite desserts for my husband. This dessert comes together quite easily because it doesn't require any difficult steps like stirring work for halwa or burfi. The dough is also easy to knead with two simple steps. Let us see some important tips for perfect badusha. Making dough for badusha To make successful dough for badusha it is important to develop gluten in the dough by kneading with proper ingredients and measurements. For the dough all you need is maida, ghee and a pinch of baking soda. No special equipments like beater or anything is not required to knead the dough. Just add a pinch of baking soda to get a soft texture for the badusha. But do not add more than a pinch because it will be separated while frying the badusha. I have experimented with butter and ghee for kneading the dough and I got perfect results with ghee. For 500 grams maida, 175 to 200 grams of ghee are requ

Vegetable Brinji Rice - Brinji Rice Recipe

Vegetable brinji rice is a popular rice variety in Tamil Nadu which are mostly served in marriages and also in restaurant meals. I like this brinji rice with a kurma and onion raita. 

Ridge Gourd Kootu - Peerkangai Kootu

Ridge gourd kootu - one of my favourite kootu dish for lunch. Naturally ridge gourd has a soft texture which is suitable for kootu dishes. Mostly we don't add onions, tomatoes and garlic for kootu dishes. For this ridge gourd kootu I have added both chana dal and moong dal. As the ridge gourd has soft texture, it gets cooked easily in a vessel so need for pressure cooking. The dals must be cooked in pressure cooker for the smoother consistency which will be perfect for kootu dishes. My Grandma gave me this idea to include both chana dal and moong dal for this kootu because ridge gourd has high water content moong dal gives thickness to it. After cooking the ridge gourd, the kootu is followed by adding the dals and the coconut paste. The coconut based kootu dishes are popular in most Tirunelveli districts. We all like any  kootu with the combination of dals and coconut small onions cumin paste. In my opinion any kootu dishes must have a mild flavours with a medium thick consi