Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Chaalna / Salna

Chaalna with parotta, a drool-worthy combination :). In Madurai there are lots of road-side restaurants and they were in news very recently for the wrong cause too. Please do forget about it and enjoy this post. Most road-side restaurants in Madurai prepare parotta and chaalna in the evening. If you cross those stalls the smell of this chaalna will be very inviting. When I get a chance to eat something from hotel, I used to ask my grandpa for this. He orders it from the nearby hotel and ofcourse without the knowledge of my parents. My dad would have been very angry with me if he knew that I eat from road-side stalls :D.  I make this combo at home now-a-days,  but very rarely. Rajender is not a fan of such heavy dishes. He loves simple and healthy ones and no need to say I am a person with an opposite taste. It is not a very unhealthy dish altogether. But it is better to have it rarely because of the heavy fat and carb content of parotta. In this post I will concentrate on chaalna recipe. Hope you will love it. This chaalna tastes excellent with chappathi too.

Ingredients :

Chicken- 1/2 kg
Onion- 2 nos or 10 shallots
Green chilly- 4 nos
Ginger- an inch piece
Garlic- 5 pods
Coconut meat- 2 big pieces
Fennel seeds- 1 tspn (very important ingredient)
Pepper corns- 1 tspn
Coriander powder- 2 tbspns
Chilli powder- 2 tspns (adjust accordig to your taste)
Cinnamon- an inch piece
Cardamom- 3 nos
Cloves- 4 nos
Star anise- 1 no
Mace- 1 no
Oil- 5 tbspns
Salt to taste.

Method :

Mince onions. Seperate the minced onions into two equal parts and keep aside. Make thin slices of coconut meat. Slit the green chillies. Mince garlic and ginger. Now heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan. Add onions, ginger, garlic, fennel seeds, pepper corns and green chilli pieces. Saute well for two minutes. Now add the coconut slices to the sauteed mixture. Saute everything well for another five minutes on low flame. Switch off the stove and cool the sauteed ingredients. Now grind everything in a food processor. Cut and clean the chicken and keep aside. Add oil in a pan and when the oil is hot enough add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise and mace. When they emit a nice aroma add the remaining onions and saute well until they turn translucent. Now add the chicken pieces and saute them in oil until the flesh becomes whitish in colour.  When the flesh of chicken becomes white add enough salt, coriander and chilli powder and mix everything well. Saute for a minute and then add the ground masala. Mix everything well and add enough water. Allow the mixture to boil and once it boils, simmer for further 15 minutes or until the chicken is soft enough. Serve with hot, hot parotta or lacha parathas.

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Never forget fennel seeds. Thats the ingredient which gives chaalna its nice flavour. Coconut is a must in this recipe. Do not discard the chicken fat completely. Add some fat pieces for a nice flavour and taste. The final preparation should not be too thick. It should be bit on the thinner side. When you pour it on the parotta it should soak the entire parotta and when you have them........hmmmmm...it will be simply yummy!!! I am drooling now :P. Happy cooking !!!

Thank you Prani :) I forgot the main ingredient chicken hehe...thats very kind of you to point it out.


  1. wow manju this is really new to me..what is this coconut meat.\nice reading about the roadside restaurant..the thattukada food is really tasty na..nice combination paratha with chaalna.but very new to me - name of the dish itself.i always add the fennel in our chicken curry..ya really it gives nice aroma

  2. Chaalna looks yummy...nice recipe. I will also try this with parotta. Thanks for the recipe dear.

  3. Manju Chalna and parrota looks delicious,you reminded me of the road side shops. I think you live very close to me,can i come over to taste your chalna:-)

  4. I have recently made and had this and this is still lying at my draft longing for me to publish it ...This is one of my all tme favourites .. I agree completely with your story da.. I can very well relate myself to it .
    Yours looking terrific ..

    I will post my veg version sometime later.
    Hey we should not use tomatoes in it da ?

  5. Manju,

    Yes salana and parotta is is nice combination. Yours is really good.

  6. My favourite dishes, chalna and parotta together goes awesome..haha even my dad is the same as urs..

  7. thats an interesting and delicious looking dish...so appetizing...yummy!

  8. surely a yummy combo, very delicious and can have it anyday...

  9. Prani, when I say coconut somehow it doesn't make sense. The white edible part of coconut is called coconut meat :)

  10. Suja, try it you will love it.

    Moon :) you are most welcome. I think we should catch up very soon...atleast to taste ur yummy dishes :)

    Pavi, definitely post the veg version. You can use tomatoes but tomatoes with non-veg doesn't go very well, atleast I think so. My mom use tomatoes with chicken and mutton but my mom-in-law never uses it. Ofcourse my mom-in-law's preparation tastes yummy. I never use it unless I have to increase the quantity of the gravy.
    Priya every dad is the same when it comes to the well-being of their daughters :)

    Thank you friends...thanks every1

  11. Chaalna looks extremely tasty..Great recipe..

  12. பரோட்டா குருமா சூப்பர்ப்...அருமை...சூப்பர்ப்...

  13. Great combo and definitely tasted yummy......

  14. Looks delicious although I would need to change that to veggie option.

  15. Definitely simply food...Just follow the same recipe. When grinding add some handful of cashews. Use any veggie like potato, carrot, green beans etc. It will come out gr8 :)

  16. looks yum and terrific..lovely parantha...

  17. Manju, parotta n chalna sollave venaam super combo enakku rombha pidicha onnu parota n roast restaurant poena rendum order panna marakkave maaten,, superah seithurukeenga Manju,,enakku echil ooruthu parotta ennudaya faav aache..

  18. Wow !! My favorite parotta and chalna. Manju, my case is different, my father gets it for us since we(I and my brother) love it very much.

    Never made at home, but like to make it dicarding the chicken fat. Thanks for sharing and making me to drool.

  19. hai nice blog..thank you for visiting my blog...are u from madurai?....i am from madurai...crazy eater of parotta and chalna

  20. Manju, as you said parotta chaalna super combo' I make them bit different'. Indeed if Dad knows that I am a foodie, eat at any kaiyendhi bhayan/vandi wala's place...sure, I will be grounded.

    I should try this chicken chaalna, sounds delicious, thanks for sharing.

    BTW, I just used our regualr green plantain da. Its very hard to find them here...so when I bagged from Asian market...I securely kept them in freezer. Tho' the veggie was fresh, its skin went dark, hehe. Thats why I made this podimass recipe, otherwise I never liked podimass!!!

  21. I love Chalna with flaky parathas. I must try this, always looking for new Salna recipes.

  22. Parotta salna ...the title reminds me of that packed in valai ilai and soaking with lot of flavor....what a wonderful post dear! Salna looks yummy.

  23. Parotta with salna is simply superb. When my mom is tired of cooking, we will get this treat from road side shop... I miss them here...

  24. Chalna with parotta is my favorite combination too, but I have not tried making it at home yet...thanks for sharing this recipe Manju...looks really good...I will try yours soon :)

  25. Wow! Mouthwatering chaalna! Slurpp!!

  26. Hey thats so nice intersting one...i loved todays recipe too..ulava charu... thats my fav one too...but where did u get that ulavalu...i need to search now for them here....love it like anythng...thanks for reminding me of such a dish...

  27. I too love that combo, nice recipe