Chicken Salna


  • Chicken – 1 kg, cut into bite sized pieces, washed and drained
  • Onion – 2 large, finely chopped
  • Tomato – 1, medium, chopped (optional)
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 1/2 to 2 tsps (adjust)
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Oil – 4 tbsps
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves – for garnish
  • Shallots – 5 (optional)
  • Green chilies – 2 (optional)
  • Fresh coconut – 1/4 cup
  • Roasted chick peas – 2 tbsps (dalia/putnala pappu) OR roasted peanuts OR cashew nuts – 6-7
  • Roast for 3-4 mts on low flame:
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cinnamon stick – 1/2″
  • Cardamom – 1
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Poppy seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Black pepper corns – 1 tsp



  1. Grind the dry roasted ingredients along with the shallots, green chilis, roasted chickpeas and fresh coconut to a fine paste adding little water. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, once hot, add the chopped onions and curry leaves and saute for 7-8 mts or till they turn lightly brown. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 5 mts.
  3. Add the red chili powder and chicken pieces and mix. Cook on high flame for 4 mts, mixing once in a while.
  4. Reduce flame, place lid and cook for 15 mts. Add chopped tomatoes and cook with lid for 10 mts on medium flame, mixing once in a while.
  5. Add the ground spice paste and mix well. Cook on medium flame for 3 to 4 mts and add two cups of water and salt. Increase flame and bring to a boil. Now reduce flame, place lid and simmer till the chicken is done. Salna is a watery gravy dish so ensure there is enough liquid. Add more water if required.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, turn off flame. Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  7. Serve with parotta, biryani, pulao, chapati, appam, dosa or naan.



  • If you do not have roasted chickpeas, use peanuts or cashew nuts.
  • Another version of the salna calls for roasting 2 tbsps coriander seeds and 6-7 red chilis along with rest of the ingredients. In that case, green chilis and red chili powder can be omitted.
  • You can add cubed potatoes (2 medium sized potato) at step 4.
  • You can also roast fresh coconut along with other spices.
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