Tomato Salna - Flavorsome Sambar Diaries!

Tomato salna is a very famous South Indian delicacy that you can enjoy with parotta (a fluffy flatbread made with flour and butter). It is also used as a side dish along with idli sambar. It is one of those rare Indian dishes that have different variants in numerous regions of the country. Known for the lip-smacking taste and distinct aroma, you can enjoy this cuisine with dosa, idli sambar, or a chapati. The best part is that it is so easy to make with some common ingredients that you can easily find in your kitchen. Why head out and search for an idli sambar food stall when you can cook parotta salna right in your kitchen!

Tomato Salna Info:

Prep Time

10 Mins

Cook Time

20 Mins

Total Time

30 Mins


South Indian


Main course

Tomato Salna Ingredients:

  • Onion – 2
  • Tomato – 2
  • Garlic – 4-5 cloves
  • Grated ginger – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves
  • Green chili – 2-3
  • Cardamom – 2
  • Cloves – 4
  • Cinnamon – 2 inch stick
  • Oil – 4 tsp
  • Red chili powder – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1.5 tsp
  • Coriander leaves
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Grated coconut – 2-3 tsp (as per your taste)
  • Roasted peanuts – 3 tsp
  • Cashews – 5-6

Step-by-Step Instructions:

To make Kerala Parotta:

  • Heat oil in a pan on a medium flame. You need to make sure that the oil doesn’t heat too much, as it can burn the spices. Now, add cardamom, cinnamon, and clove to the pan and leave for a few seconds on low flame, so the essence of these spices stays in.
  • Finely chop onions and add it to the pan along with dry spices till it changes color. Peel the garlic cloves and grate them along with ginger to make a fine paste. If you like the strong taste of garlic, then you can use chopped garlic in your recipe. Add chopped green chili and a few curry leaves.
  • Add chopped tomatoes to the pan. Sauté the mixture properly and wait for tomatoes to get all soft. Add a pinch of salt on the top of the gravy and then cover the pan. This will give your gravy some extra moisture.
  • Meanwhile, you can work on grinding the remaining ingredients. Put together roasted peanuts, coconut, cashews, and fennel seeds in a jar and grind them together to make a paste.
  • Check your pan for parotta salna. When tomatoes and spices are mixed properly, add the nutty mixture to the pan and mix it well. You will also need to add some water if your gravy is too thick. After this, add salt and garam masala. Let the mixture boil for at least 10-12 minutes.

Few Points to Remember:

  • When it comes to preparing a perfect bowl of parotta salna, its consistency and texture play a vital role. The consistency of the parotta salna gravy must be somewhere between idli sambar and Chaap gravy. It means that it should be thicker than the sambar and thinner than a regular north Indian curry.
  • Prevent the use of raw peanuts, or your parotta salna will have that earthy taste of peanuts. You can either roast the peanuts at home or use roasted peanuts.

Remove the lid of the pan and check the salna for any moisture residual. Once it is ready, you can garnish this aroma-rich cuisine with coriander leaves. The perfect companion for the idli sambar platter is ready!