Gotu Kola Sambol (Sri Lankan Pennywort Salad)
Also known by many other names - including pennywort, brahmi, centella asiatica, vallarai keerai, ondelaga, waterhyssop, thimare and a few more - this prodigious plant is thought to have extremely good health properties particularly on brain function.
It is believed that elephants consume the plant and that may be a reason for their incredibly good memory.
This bunch I got from a local Indian grocer was super fresh so opted for this Sri Lankan-style salad made with just a handful of ingredients. The leaves had such a distinct flavour (not similar to anything else I’ve tried) that really didn’t need much else. So here’s how I made it:
1 large bunch of pennywort / gotu kola leaves
1 cup freshly grated coconut
1 lime, juiced
2 green chillies
4-5 cherry tomatoes (or 1 large tomato)
1/2 small red onion
Salt to taste
Wash the leaves carefully in cold water. I soaked them in water and bicarbonate for 15 minutes and then rinsed thoroughly in cold water. Remove the stems and chop the leaves coarsely.
Chop green chillies, onion and tomatoes finely.
Add all ingredients to a salad bowl and mix to combine.
We had this salad as a side to a small bowl of curd rice. It was incredibly flavourful!