CHICKEN SALNA RECIPE – Side dish for Parotta, Biryani, Idli, Kal Dosai & Idiyappam


Salna/ chalna is country side curried dish is very famous in Madurai, Tamil Nadu often served as a side for Parotta, Biryani , idli, idiyappam and kal dosai. Colloquially its known as Salna, can be made using either vegetables or meat, but mostly made with mutton or chicken. This version is a semi-thick most suitable for Kal dosai , Idiyappam and biryani made with boneless chicken, almost like kheema style. You may choose chicken with bones or boneless depending your preference.

Chicken Salna Recipe / Chicken Chalna Recipe / பரோட்டா சால்னா / Parotta Salna / Thattukada Chicken Salna / Street Food Stall Chicken Gravy / Side dish for Parotta / Biryani / Idli / Kal Dosai  / Thattukadai Style Salna Recipe  /  Madurai Style Salna / Street Food Side Gravy / Street Hawkers Style food

1 lb Boneless chicken (1/2 kg approx, cut into very small pieces)
2 count Onion (very finely minced)
1 count Tomato (finely chopped or crushed)
10 count Curry leaves
6 stalks Coriander leaves (chopped)
1 count Bay leaf
2 count Cinnamon
2 cloves Cloves
2 count Cardamon
¼ teaspoon Cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon Fennel seeds
2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
2 teaspoon Coriander/dhania powder
¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
1½ teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
4 tablespoon Oil
2 teaspoon Lemon juice
1 cup Water
2 teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
2 teaspoon Black peppercorns
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
2 teaspoon Coriander/dhania seeds
2 count Green chilli
¼ cup Fresh grated coconut ( or use 1/2 cup for more thin style gravy)




Raw Spices



Make a fine paste using all ingredients from list-2 and keep it aside. (Add very little water, just to run your mixie) Wash and cut chicken into small pieces and marinate with 1/2 tsp salt and lemon juice. Heat oil in a deep sauce pan and add bay leaf, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves and cardamon and fry till it releases aroma, then add onions and fry until they turn golden brown.


Now add the ground masala paste and saute till it blends well with onion. This masala paste is raw and requires suateing for long time, till the raw smell goes away. ( 15 minutes over low medium flame. When the mixture turns  brown add marinated chicken, tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder, dhania powder, curry leaves, salt and mix well. Bring the whole thing to a boil by adding water and cook covered for another 15 minutes (25 minutes ofr chicken with bones). Once done the you will see the oil separating from the gravy, simmer  further if you need a thick style gravy or turn off and garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.


Adjust coconut according to the style you prefer. For thick version use 1/4 cup coconut – for thin version use 1/2 cup coconut.

Chicken with bones gives adds nice aroma and flavor and that’s preferred for any salna recipe. Boneless works for easy and suits well of idli / birayni / idiyappam.

Please make sure you fry the masala paste well orelse the raw smell of the spices will spoil taste of the dish.

This recipe yields a spicy gravy so please do adjust the amount of chilies or chili powder.


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41 comments to CHICKEN SALNA RECIPE – Side dish for Parotta, Biryani, Idli, Kal Dosai & Idiyappam

  • slurrppppppppppp..super mullai..will try it soon !!

  • subha

    hi, can u pls tel me if the ingrideints for paste sud be raw or dry roasted

  • Radhika

    You are Rocking !!!!!!

  • kakisha

    Yet another amazing dish! these days I am not scratching my head when it comes to weekend special cooking. Even my husband would say, let me go to Mullai's website and choose what we can cook today! Kalakareenga ponga. Thanks a million.

  • santhij

    Tried this one today. Tastes good. Thanks!!!!

  • Sureka

    Mullai, I already made this recipe twice and it has become one of my weekly favorites. Tastes great and different from my regular dishes. Thank you!

  • Mullai

    Kavirm, its ok to use coriander powder instead. Pls post your doubts under respective recipe. Thanks.

  • arunadeepak

    Hi Mullai,

    I am a recent browser of your blog. Your recipes are very good. Can you tell me how to turn this salna vegetarian, I mean how to use vegetables in this recipe?

    Thank you,
    Aruna Deepak

  • anup

    hi mullai, yesterday i made chicken salna it was very delicious.

  • sathu

    This Chicken Salna came out very well. Thanks to Mullai for a chicken dish that can be quickly made yet with an awesome taste..

    I could not recreate the colour exactly shown in the pic.. Is the chilli powder actally giving the reddish brown colour Mullai? 

    Let me know if you get time.





  • christy1978

    hallo mullai
    my question is abt dhania to this dish. For the ingredient 1 we are adding 3 tsp Coriander/dhania powder
    For the ingredient 2 again 3 tsp Corrainder/dhania seeds we are adding.
    Is that i can add 6 spoon of coriander for one pound chicken, is that correct dhania propotion to this dish.
    Thank you mullai.

    • Mullai

      Christy, fresh ground dhania add tons of flavour and that's the reason for adding in ground masala. To adjust the 2 tsp red chili powder the other 3 tsp coriander powder is used, all these constitute towards a thicker gravy as shown, less of dhania makes the gravy very thin and consistency will look watery. Chicken is mainly added for that non-veg essence and doesnt really matter much. Hope you got my point. Thanks.

  • Deepa V Kumar

    hi mullai, I made this yesterday, with mutton, and it was yummy…My husband had it with appam too for breakfast today… Thanks for the mouth watering recipies …

  • jlakshmi

    This is my side dish for Capsicum pulao , I did not get the exact brown color as in your picture.. May be I added bit more coconut and turmeric, whereas mine was light brown. Taste wise Its good.

    next time I will try with exact way.. Thanks a ton. Today I tried 4 recipes from this website. You can see me logged in all day long. That’s becuase I always keep this page open while I do my office work and when bored I browse for best one.s Keep up the GOOD WORK !!!. LOVELY PICTURES AND CLEAN INSTRUCTIONS MAKE THIS WEB SITE A COOL ONE !!!

  • lash

    i tried out this item…it was ok sort…

  • abi

    Hi mullai,
    yesterday i tried this. it came out very well and the taste is awesome. nice sidedish 4 parotta, chapati and puri. i liked it very much.

  • malathy

    hi mullai….i made this today and it turned out to be a little spicy than i expected…..i did add ur proportion of everything…..i think ur spice level is lil higher than us….how do i fix this? do let me know soon as u can…..

  • Anja

    Hi Mullai, I am going to cook this wonderful looking dish in evening, do you think I can use desiccated coconut instead of fresh grated? If yes, how much do I need?

    • Mullai


      Use the same quantity, it would be difficult to get the juice of desiccated coconut, so use some water or little of canned coconut milk. Good luck.

  • kaviarun

    Hi Mullai,
    I’ve tried 4 or 5 types of chiken salna.But yours is perfect.Adichu solren Mullai’s chicken salna is best .Thanks a lot.

  • Harris rahman

    Mullai, you rock man !!!!! . I am staying in the states and on the look out for recipes from tamilnadu . The chicken salna is so easy to make and the ingredients are so familiar too (I have no prior cooking experience but for the last 6 months). thanks a ton man.

  • CT

    You just can’t beat this ………The dish was really delicious

  • sleshar



  • Visitor

    I tried out your recipe today.
    Taste was delicious.
    But the color of the dish didn’t turn out red, because of the pepper I think, it looked pale.

    Also in the picture, is chicken marinated with turmeric too.

  • Visitor

    When making the ground paste, can you add water if the paste doesnt grind really well?

  • Visitor

    Excellent dish. Thankyou for the recipe. I added extra pepper for more pepper taste.

  • visitor

    I used some of the recipe from and the recipe here to make the salna and it came out quite well.

    Have this with frozen parottas (the ones that look like ‘veechu parotta’ that is sold on parotta stalls in south TamilNadu) – quite good.

  • pio

    Thank you. I have been looking for this for a long time. It is great.

  • Visitor

    I have been searchin this recipe for longtime…It looks nice…Thanks mullai

  • Manoj

    Mullai, this came out so well. My wife & I are coming up with an A-list of recipes (something we can always rely on for a great meal) and this is getting in there. Thanks!

    btw,what does Salna mean?

    • Mullai

       for your comments. Well Chalna….colloquially called salna, is basically known as a filter or seive. In terms of food or as far as i know, anything like a residue or left over gravy. A semi-solid soupy gravy,  leftover after you filter or eat all the meat from the dish, which still….. tastes good. There is no origin or history behind this dish, in some parts of southern Tamilnadu, they serve this with parotta on the road side fast food shops. I have used small chicken pieces, you can also try with minced chicken or mutton.  Catch you again when i hit the top position.Smile

  • Anonymous

    wheres the list 2

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