Authentic Recipes from the Kitchens of Shriya, Nithu & Arthi!

Salan for Biryani – Curry Sauce

Salan is a Hyderabadi dish and generally served with Biryani or roti. Hyderabad is located in South India which is popular for its cuisine. Their food is spicy and rich in flavors. Today I am going to share the recipe for Salan in which tomato and onions are cooked in blend of spices along with peanuts and tamarind juice. This spicy and a little tangy gravy is a prefect combination for Biryani. You can also serve it with layered parottas or other rotis.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time:30 minutes

No. of servings: 7 to 8

Spice level: 4 out of 5


  • Small onions – 15 (or equivalent  amount of red onions)
  • Medium size tomatoes – 2
  • Green chilies – 3
  • Garlic cloves – 6
  • Freshly grated or ground Ginger – 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – 10 to 15
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind juice – 1 cup (extracted from a marble size of tamarind)
  • Two medium size bay leaves
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • A big pinch of asafoetida
  • Oil – 4 tbsp
  • Chopped cilantro – 2 tbsp

Masala for Grinding:

  • Unsalted peanuts – 3 tbsp
  • Dry long red chilies – 4
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper corns – 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick – 1″
  • Cloves – 3
  • Green cardamom – 1
  • Star anise – 1
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Shredded coconut – 3 tbsp

Method of preparation:

  1. Dry roast peanuts till the skin starts becoming dark. Do not let become dark. Let it cool and remove the skin.  If you are using peanuts without skin, then dry roast it until it stars turning brown.
  2. Dry roast sesame seeds till it splutters and becomes golden brown. Let it cool.
  3. Heat oil in the same pan and add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, red chilies, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, cardamom and black pepper. Roast them until the aroma starts spreading.
  4. Finally add coconut and turn off the stove. Mix well and let it cool.
  5. Grind it to a paste with peanuts and sesame seeds to a coarse powder.
  6. Add chopped onions, green chilies and garlic to the ground powder and pulse for a few times with a little water until the mixture becomes a coarse paste.
  7. Heat 4 tbsp of oil and add bay leaf, curry leaves, asafoetida and fenugreek seeds.
  8. After a minute add ground paste along with grated ginger and fry till the raw smell is gone.
  9. Now add tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cook until tomatoes are mashed.
  10. Add tamarind juice and let it cook until oil separates from the gravy. Gravy should neither be thick now runny.
  11. You can refrigerate the gravy for upto 3 to 4 days.


  1. first time to your site….excellent dish.. nice presentation…. Salan totally new recipe to drop your visit at our site wen u find time… we both are alike since we are also three ladies like you, happily started blogging Ezcookbook few months back…

    Ez Cookbook

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Ur website looks fabulous…

  3. Interesting dish
    sounds tasty…

  4. Made it last weekend for serious Hyderabadi food fans. Biryani and salan wiped clean. Using this recipe, spice level is medium. I doubled the red chilli when I made it. Thanks for this easy, tasty recipe.

  5. Thanks so much for your fantastic recipes and really clear instructions. I really appreciate the effort you make to share your knowlegdge and the results taste like real ‘Food Integrity’

    Thanks Again,

  6. Wow. loved this recipe. easy and clear instructions. your site is a true delight. thankyou for all the effort, so we can have delicious food.

  7. Thanks Smita, Nima, Kevin and Shankar for all your valuable comments and support.