Gotu kola sambal

Pennywort salad


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a condiment

Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Pennywort is being labelled as a ‘superfood’ nowadays, but in Sri Lanka, where it is known as gotu kola, it has always been considered a healthy and delicious condiment for a curry. As I am no doctor, I won’t enter into the many things it is touted to cure — but it tastes damn good, so do try to get hold of some, or buy some from a nursery and grow your own; it makes a beautiful ground cover.

If you can’t get hold of a fresh coconut and grate it, use frozen grated coconut from an Asian supermarket — or as a last resort, rehydrate some desiccated coconut.

Preparation 10 minutes


  • 1 large handful pennywort, including the stems
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small Indian green chilli, finely chopped
  • 50 g ( oz/ cup) freshly grated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • juice of ½ lime


Very finely shred the pennywort, including the stems. (We've left the leaves whole in the photo.) Place in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients and mix together.

Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and a little more lime juice if needed; the salad should taste tangy.

Serve immediately with curries, or use instead of tabouleh in a salad or wrap.