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Challas/Saralas (Kerala Onion Salad)

Challas or Saralas or instant pickled onion is Kerala's own onion salad, which is a must with Kerala fish fry, biriyani, chicken fry, or even plain roti.

My brother, Nibu loves challas so much that for him it is a staple thing along with roti or even with beef ularthiyathu and I guess that "gene" is passed on to my daughter, Nidhi.....she just cannot do without challas. Yesterday, when I made pomfret fry for her, I thought I will share this forgotten simple salad....I remember, as a child for every family gatherings there will be a big bowl of challas and we used to have it with beef cutlets.Overtime, this instant pickled onion slowly vanished from dinner tables, but my brother and daughter always insist on them with their favorite fries.

Author: Nisa Homey
Onion: One large, thinly sliced.
Green chilly: 1, thinly sliced (optional, I did not use here as the fish fry I served was spicy enough)
Vinegar (I used vinegar made from coconut water) : 1 tsp.
Water: About half to one cup.
Salt: A big fat pinch or as needed.

Place thinly sliced onions onto a plate, add water....simply squeeze out the water.

Add in the vinegar and is best to rub everything together with your hand.
Instant pickled onion salad is ready.


  1. Love the clicks and the instant salad.

  2. Even i make tis salad akka for biriyani as a side dish. But in a slightly different method. Thnks fr sharin.

  3. Omg, i want those fried fish with this fantastic onion salad..inviting platter there.

    1. I love fried fish too....thanks Priya for stopping by :-)

  4. I tasted them from hotel, sure going to give it try tomorrow. Delicious fish fry.

  5. Very fresh & tempting salad............loved it.

  6. Well, that was easy! I wasn't expecting to see the recipe to be so easy. Being a HUGE onion lover, I know I'll be making these soon. Thanks Nisa!

  7. Same here nisha chichi... we make it a bit diff in ernakulam, with red chili powder,coconut oil vinegar , salt and onions....its on our menu toward with ney meen fry and biryani for Christmas lunch.. :). Merry Christmas in advance chichi... from our home to yours

  8. Hai mam,
    how to make vinegar from coconut water???

    1. Hi Siji, you get bottled coconut vinegar these days, I have not tried making it at home personally!

    2. Thanks mam......thanks for your reply.... i like ur homemade styles in recipes.... dats y i asked so...luv u a lot....>3


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