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salna recipe
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5 from 2 votes

Salna recipe | Empty Salna

Salna or empty salna is a vegetarian gravy served as side dish for parotta or biryani. With just onion and tomato base with lots of spices, masala to make it perfect balance in taste.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Servings: 6 people


  • 2 Onion sliced
  • 2 Tomato finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoon Mint leaves finely chopped
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Gram flour Dissolve in 3 to 4 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 7 Cups Water
  • Salt as needed

Spice powders

  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam masala powder Or Biryani masala powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon Sambar powder measure heaped (Aachi, Sakthi works) or you can use Asian curry powder

To grind

  • ½ cup Grated coconut packed
  • 8 Cashews
  • 1 tablespoon Fried gram dal Pottukadalai

To temper

  • 3 to 4 tbsp Oil
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Star anise
  • 1 teaspoon Stone flower Kalpasi, few
  • 1 Biryani leaf
  • 1 Sprig Curry leaves


  • I firstly grind masala paste and keep it ready. Place coconut, cashew, pottukadalai in mixie.
    ½ cup Grated coconut, 1 tablespoon Fried gram dal, 8 Cashews
  • Grind it smoothly with ½ cup water.
  • Secondly, dissolve 1 tablespoon gram flour in 2-3 tablespoon of water without lumps.
    1 tablespoon Gram flour
  • Set aside. Slowly add water to make a thick paste firstly and then gradually dilute it to avoid lumps.
  • In case you get lumps, pass it through a strainer.

Prepare Salna

  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan with oil. Add tempering items.
    2 Onion, 3 to 4 tablespoon Oil, 2 Cardamom, 1 Inch Cinnamon, 3 Cloves, 1 Star anise, 1 teaspoon Stone flower, 1 Biryani leaf, 1 Sprig Curry leaves
  • In goes curry leaves followed by sliced onion.
    2 Onion
  • Sprinkle a little salt and continue sauteeing until golden in color. Take care not to burn it.
  • Then add ginger garlic paste and fry well. Keep stirring for a minute as it may get stuck to bottom of pan.
    2 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
  • After that, add finely chopped tomato. Again sprinkle some salt, add all masala powders and mix well.
    2 Tomato, ¼ teaspoon Turmeric, 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chilli powder, 1 teaspoon Garam masala powder, 2 to 3 tablespoon Sambar powder, 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds powder
  • Continue frying until oil floats on top and becomes mushy.
  • Now, add ground coconut paste, and mix well for a minute.
  • Add mint leaves and half the coriander leaves.
    3 tablespoon Mint leaves, ¼ cup coriander leaves
  • Add water gradually as you mix and once it is thinned out, you can add all the water (Total 7 cups)
    7 Cups Water
  • Now, add required salt, mix well and bring to boil. Now, in goes the gram flour in water. Mix well.
  • Bring to boil, then put the flame to medium and cook covered for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in between.
  • Boil further more for 7-10 minutes with open lid until it becomes thicker.
  • It gets slightly thicker as it cools down, so switch off accordingly.
  • Switch off the flame, add lemon juice and mix. Garnish with remaining coriander leaves and few torn curry leaves.
    1 teaspoon Lemon juice



  • Make sure not let anything get burnt as it may turn bitter and spoil the whole dish.
  • Boiling for long time is the key for perfect taste and flavor.
  • Do not think the spice powders are more, it is needed for sure to balance the taste.