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December 28, 2018

Plain Salna Recipe – Empty Tomato Salna For Parotta

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Plain salna recipe
 In Tamil nadu, salna recipe is one of the best side dish for parotta that is served in roadside hotels. Parotta salna is a popular streetside hotel food in  Madurai, Tuticorin, Salem and Chennai. Salna is a Tamil word I guess. Plain salna is also popularly known as empty salna. Empty salna is nothing but plain tomato based masala gravy without vegetables. Its a vegetarian salna recipe. Its so flavorful and tastes great not only with parotta but also with idli, dosa, chapathi and idiyappam. You can use this salna for making kothu parotta too.

Long back I had shared mixed vegetable salna recipe for parotta. It is a super hit recipe in my blog. It got rave reviews from my readers. Its my go to recipe too. Recently I came across this plain tomato salna recipe in a YouTube video just like street side hotel ones. This recipe is slightly different from mine. So I got tempted and tried it. Method of preparation of this plain salna recipe is very easy and quick when compared with my earlier version. I made it directly in a pressure cooker. So my job was done under 15 minutes. I was very happy to see the oil floating, flavorful salna. My house was completely filled with nice aroma. Myself and Raksha loved it with store bought frozen parotta.

Hot, flaky, layered parota with this plain salna is a pure bliss. Try it once. You will love it for sure. If you want to add any vegetables, you can add potato or cauliflower.  Ok, lets see how to make plain salna recipe for parotta and dosa with step by step pictures and video.

Check out my vegetable salna recipe which also tastes like hotel ones. Also check out my hotel Saravana bhavan vegetable kurma for parotta, chapathi and dosa. 

Do check out my homemade parotta recipe using less oil.

For variations, you can make chilli parotta and kothu parotta recipe using store bought frozen parotta.

Tomato salna recipe

Plain salna recipe - Empty salna for Parotta

Plain salna recipe - Empty salna for Parotta

Plain salna recipe - Tomato based masala kurma kuzhambu for parotta.

Cuisine: Tamil nadu
Category: Side dish for parotta
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 30 Minutes

1 cup = 250ml
  • Cooking Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch
  • Cardamom - 1
  • Cloves - 2
  • Black stone flower / Kalpasi - 1 (optional)
  • Bay leaf – optional
  • Big Onion – 1 (big size)
  • Ginger garlic paste (gg paste) - 1 tbsp
  • Green Chilli - 1
  • Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
  • Mint leaves - 2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – 5
  • Ripe tomato - 3
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Crushed fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder / Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 to 1.5 tsp (adjust)
  • Dhania powder/ Coriander powder –1 to 1.5 tbsp
  • Salt and water - as required
To grind
  • Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Cashew nuts - 5 or Khus khus/ poppy seeds - 1 tsp
  1. Wash and chop onion, tomato, green chilli.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Temper the whole garam masala.
  3. Add finely chopped onion and saute well.
  4. Add gg paste, chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves and curry leaves.
  5. Saute till raw smell goes off. Lastly add chopped tomato and cook till mushy.
  6. Add required salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder.
  7. Mix well for a minute. Lastly add the ground coconut paste.
  8. Add sufficient water and pressure cook in low flame for one to 2 whistles.
  9. Remove the cooker lid after the steam is released.
  10. Oil floating, flavorful salna is ready. Serve with parotta, biryani, dosa and idli if you like.

  • Wash and chop tomato, onion, green chilli. Heat oil in a pressure cooker.

  • Saute cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Add chopped big onion and saute till transparent. Add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes off.
  • Plain salna recipe
  • Add chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves and curry leaves. Mix well. Add chopped tomato, salt and saute till tomato turns mushy.
  • Plain salna recipe
  • Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, dhania powder, crushed fennel powder and garam masala powder. Saute quickly in medium flame without burning the spices.
  • Plain salna recipe
  • Now add 1.5 cups of water and let it roll boil. In the mean time, grind coconut and khus khus or cashew nuts to a smooth paste.
  • Plain salna recipe
  • Add to the boiling salna. Mix well and close the pressure cooker with the lid. Keep the flame high till steam comes out. Now lower the flame completely and put the weight valve. Pressure cook in low flame for one whistle. You will get a nice aroma. Switch off the flame and let it rest till steam releases by itself. Then open the lid. You can see a layer of oil floating on top. Mix well and check for the consistency. If its too thick, add little water and boil for a minute. If its too thin, boil for sometime till it reaches the desired consistency. Check for taste and Serve with parotta, idli or dosa. If you like, you can have it with biryani and chapathi as well. Enjoy !Plain salna recipe


  • Adjust the quantity of red chilli powder as per your taste.
  • Use Kashmiri chilli powder for bright colored salna.
  • For variations, you can add potato or cauliflower.

Try this super easy, yummy plain salna recipe for parotta and enjoy !
Empty salna recipe

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Dipi said...

Yummy was d salna.. simple n tasty it came out🙂

Chitra said...

Thanks for your feedback 😊

Unknown said...

I followed your recipe the salna came out good, everyone in the house enjoyed. thank you!

Chitra said...

Thank you so much for your feedback :)

Anonymous Thamizhan said...

You are a life saver, thanks for this recipe... Worked just fine

Chitra said...

Thanks a lot for your feedback.

Unknown said...

What can I say more about the was superlicious and it's just like resturant style.lots of love

Chitra said...

Thank you so much for your feedback

Unknown said...

Is it ok to put graind raw onion and tomato instead of chopped?

Chitra said...

Yes, you can add it but tastes completely different.

SPSenthil said...

Really yummy and remembers my childhood memories.. we finished the whole saalna, not even left a drop .. ha ha..

Chitra said...

Super, happy to know that. Thanks for sharing the feedback 😊

Unknown said...

Tried today wow

Sankaran said...

Hi mam tried out salna and outcome was excellent..good wrk..and easy method to follow..thanks

Chitra said...

Thanks a lot Sankaran for your feedback :) I am so happy to know it

Chitra said...

Thanks a lot

Iraivi said...

Tried this recipe today, came out very well

Chitra said...

Thanks a lot Iravi for youe feedback :)

Vinodha said...

Excellent hotel style salna... thanks for the wonderful recipe ma

Simply Aarkay said...

Hi Chithra,
Tried this recipe. Came out very well. Definitely going to make it again. Thank you for this recipe!

Chitra said...

Happy to know that. Thanks a lot for sharing your feedback 😊