Centella, which is commonly known as Gotu kola, is used as a leafy green in Sri Lankan cuisine The Fresh leaves can be eaten raw as a salad. It grows well in damp places like marshlands, swamps, and paddy fields. It only takes a couple of months for the crops to be fully grown . It is commonly believed that eating a few leaves of Gotu kola every day will "reinforce and rejuvenate exhausted bodies and brains. In Sri Lanka, the Gotu kola leaves are crushed and made into a hot beverage or eaten as a salad ,which is the most common type of consumption . A nutritious porridge known as ‘Kola Kenda’ is also made with Gotu Kola.
Recently, I introduced Gotu kola leaves to my children.I was a bit hesitant at the start ,thinking they wouldn’t like the somewhat bitter taste, but they proved me wrong.They really relished it. My mother always made a spicy salad out of Gotu Kola leaves and with her gastronomic know-how used to draw out the tanginess in the leaves with the extra flavorings she added.But as my children do not really eat the spicy stuff.I tried out an entirely different one. Which was of course very much closer to a regular salad. As this was the first time they were trying this salad ,I cut a few slices of cucumber and lined it around the plate ,to convince them that ‘gotu kola’ was indeed a kind of salad. This is delectable when eaten with plain white rice, chicken/beef/fish curry and with other curried vegetables.
Method-Pick the Gotu kola leaves off the stem and wash thoroughly in running water.Finely chop the leaves and add chopped onions, green chilly, salt to taste and a little lemon /lime juice. Mix well.
You can also add more spice and flavoring to get that extra zing.Sparingly add to the above, red chilly flakes, coarsely ground maldive fish and scrapped coconut .