Vegetable Salna

Salna with Parotta or Salna with Biryani, these combo dishes are very famous all over Tamil Nadu and will definitely make one salivate. Salna or Chalna is a thin curry or gravy that is served as an accompaniment especially in small eateries mostly with flaky Parottas. They are also served as an accompaniment with Biryanis.

Vegetable Salna

Salnas served at eateries are non-vegetarian version. This recipe is a vegetarian version of the Salna prepared with vegetables. Salna is so tasty that people usually dunk their Parottas in the gravy and enjoy it. I am yet to master the art of Parotta making, hence prepared this vegetarian version of the Salna or Chalna to be paired with Plain Biryani or Kuska. I sometimes make this Salna as an accompaniment to Idlis, Dosas or Chapathis too, tastes yummy.

As I prepared Kushka or Plain Biryani, I used coconut milk for its preparation and had left over coconut pulp, used the pulp to prepare this delicious Salna or Chalna. You can either make it plain with onion and tomato or add whatever veggies are available at hand like peas, carrot, cauliflower, potato, capsicum. I used carrot, potato and capsicum. This gravy is so tasty, very easy to prepare and makes an excellent accompaniment for mild Pulao, Biryanis, Chapathis, Idli, Dosa, Idiyappam, Appam or Parottas. Now off to the preparation of the delicious Vegetable Salna.


Carrot – ½
Potato – 1 small sized
Capsicum – ½ of a big sized
Green chilli – 1 or 2
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or taste
Coriander powder – ¾ tsp
Salt to taste
Water – 1 ½ to 2 cups
Oil – 2 tsps + 2 tbsps

To grind
Cardamom – 1
Fennel seed – ¾ tsp
Bay leaf – 1
Star anise – 1 petal
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon – 1” stick
Jeera or cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Onion – 1 big sized
Tomato – 1 big sized
Coriander leaves – few strands
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Coconut pulp – Pulp remaining after extracting milk from ¼ of a coconut, if using fresh coconut, you can add ¼ of a coconut


Prep time – 10 mins
Cook time – 20 mins
Total time – 30 mins
Serves 4

  1. Roughly chop the onion and tomato. Chop the carrots, potato and capsicum into cubes.
  2. Heat two tsps of oil in a pan; reduce the flame to medium and add the whole garam masalas and sauté for ½ a minute.
  3. Add the chopped onion and fry until translucent.
  4. Add the chopped tomato, ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 2 mins.
  5. Add the coriander leaves followed by coconut pulp or fresh coconut if using fresh. Cook for 2 mins. Remove the pan from the pan and let it cool.
  6. Take the cooled ingredients in a mixer jar and grind it to a paste. Add water if needed to aid grinding.
  7. Heat two tbsps of oil in a small pressure cooker. Add the ground paste and sauté for 3-4 mins.
  8. Add the whole green chillies, cubed carrot, potato and capsicum along with chilli and coriander powders and salt to taste. Add two cups of water and mix well.
  9. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Switch off and wait for the pressure to release. Open, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Serve this yummy Vegetable Salna as a side dish to Parotta, Idli, Dosa, Chapathi or Biryani. We enjoyed it with Kuska.

Vegetable Salna


  1. I do not follow any hard and fast rule in the usage of whole garam masalas. I use whatever is available in hand.
  2. For the above quantity, you can use ¼ th of a fresh coconut (grated or chopped). As I didn’t want to waste the coconut pulp after extracting coconut milk for Kuska preparation, used it while preparing Salna. In addition to the pulp, you can add a finger length piece or two of fresh coconut.
  3. As my kids wanted a less spicy version, I used Kashmiri chilli powder. You can adjust the spice levels as per your taste buds.
  4. Adjust water quantity according to the thickness of the gravy you would like to serve. If adding water after opening the cooker to adjust the gravy thickness, check for spice and salt levels, and add it accordingly. Let the gravy boil well and then serve.