Salna is a very famous curry served along with parottas, chapatis and even along with rice and biryanis in hotels in Southern most part of India specifically in Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most flavorful curries I'd say and has a watery consistency mostly, the non-vegetarian ones are very spicy but is unbeatable-y tasty. I always love chicken salna along with crispy fried parottas, about which I'll be posting very soon. Here's the plain salna recipe were we will be using just ripe tomatoes, but you can add some extra vegetables of your choice too. This one's not very difficult and don't panic on looking at the number of ingredients you'll need, its super easy to gather as most of them will be found in any Indian pantry. The flavors and aroma is so rich and as it is a coconut based curry it tastes excellent too. Pour it generously over your rotis or rice and enjoy the treat.
INGREDIENTSServes two people
Total Preparation Time - 20 minutes
- Tomatoes - 3 (big ripe ones)
- Onion - 2 (big one)
- Mint leaves - a little less than a handful
- Coriander leaves - Few
- Green chilly - 1 (optional)
- Red chilli powder - 2 tablespoons (or less)
- Coconut - 1/4 of a coconut
- Shallots - 2 to 3
- Ginger - one small piece about 2 inches long
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- Poppy seeds - 2 teaspoons
- Star anise - 1
- Cinnamon stick - 5 small sticks (about 2 inches long)
- Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon (plus 1/4 tsp for tempering)
- Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon (plus 1/4 tsp for tempering)
- Cloves - 2
- Cardamom - 3
- Kalpasi / Black stone flower - a pinch (optional)
- Bay leaf - 1
- Salt - As per taste
- Oil - 5 tablespoons
- Chop onions finely and chop tomatoes into big cubes. Grate or chop coconut and set aside.
- Now into a blender add (ingredients 7 to 18) shallots, grated coconut, ginger, garlic, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom and kalpasi and grind it coarsely. Then add some water and grind well into a smooth paste. Keep this masala aside.
- Now place a pan on flame and pour oil into it. (You can use a cooker too) After it heats up, add 1/4 tsp cumin seeds and 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, bay leaf, onion, slit green chilly, coriander leaves, few mint leaves. Saute until onions turn translucent.
- Now add the diced tomatoes and saute. (see that the tomatoes do not turn mushy)
- Now add red chilli powder and saute for a minute. Then add ground coconut masala and stir well.
- Add enough salt, pour about 400 ml of water and add the remaining mint leaves. Stir well.
- Now cook on a medium flame for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from flame when you find the curry cooked and oil starts separating. (If using a cooker cover with a lid and pressure cook for 6 to 7 minutes on low flame)
- If you want a watery salna leave it as it is. If you want a thick curry kind cook uncovered for a few more minutes until it thickens.
- Remove from flame and serve.
TIP 1: You can add a cup of chopped vegetables (like carrots, cauliflower, french beans, peas, potatoes) of your choice along with tomatoes.
TIP 2: If you do not wish to use poppy seeds use few cashews instead.
TIP 3: Use tomatoes that aren't too sour.