Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Goodness Of Centella ( Gotu Kola) Leaves

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 . 


  1. I thought you are talking about kola nut herb which is stimulant but I looked to see the treatment qualities of Gotu kola herb and it is actually also used for relaxing purposes and treats insomnia. It would be great tea for me to go to bed early :))

  2. It's a healthy choice..Give it a try.:)

  3. hmm, Nice... it seems Delicious..

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  5. Where can one purchase this herb? Can it be grown in the USA?

    1. I buy this from Asian stores/grocery that sell greens.'Gotu kola' as it is known among the Sri Lankans, is widely available in Sri lanka and grown in marshy lands.Perhaps you could check with an Asian Supermarket Close to where you reside.Good Luck!

  6. What an interesting post! I have never head of Centella before now. It sounds like a wonderfully nutritious ingredient, and very useful as well! Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  7. I found this fascinating. I always enjoy learning about a new food to add to our meals.

  8. Thank you all for your lovely comments..