Chicken Salna also called as Chicken Chalna is the best side dish with South Indian style Parotta and vegetable salna for the vegetarians. You will find most road side stalls located in busy market areas and along the highways in Tamil Nadu serving Parotta with Chicken Salna. The mere sight of this famous street food makes you hungry and crave for a bite of the flaky layered parotta dunked into the aromatic chalna. It is a match made in heaven and I always look forward to eat it when I visit Tamil Nadu.
A fragrant watery chicken curry with a unique blend of freshly roasted spices like cumin, fennel seeds, pepper corns along with shallots, coconut and roasted chickpeas. One of the best chicken curry I have ever made and blogged is Chicken Salna. A must try recipe and I am sure that those who try it will add it to their recipe repertoire. Do give it try this festive season and it is best served with parotta and even biryani, appam or chapati.
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.
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
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.
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.
Add the red chili powder and chicken pieces and mix. Cook on high flame for 4 mts, mixing once in a while.
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.
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.
Once the chicken is cooked, turn off flame. Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Serve with parotta, biryani, pulao, chapati, appam, dosa or naan.