Vallarai keerai salad
Gotukola as it is called in Srilanka, is nothing but the vallarai keerai that is so valued in Tamilnadu. The leaves of the gotukola plant are considered very valuable as they enhance the memory power of the brain. In India they are also available in the form of pills as supplements. Gotukola sambol is one of the best ways that the Srilankans use to consume these greens.
Gotukola Sambol is a simple salad made with these greens and coconut. It is all the more healthy as it is uncooked. Gotukola leaves have a mild bitter taste, which is well balanced by the addition of lemon juice. This sambol is normally served with rice.
In Tamilnadu where I lived the popularity of these greens suddenly caught up during my initial days at work. Vendors would sell these greens for high prices, and a bunch normally contained only 10 leaves, of course with the stalk. I became so crazy that every day I would purchase them, cut them up and mix them up with the rice I was taking for lunch to office.
Back then we did not even know if it could be consumed raw. It was unpalatable, but there was no stopping me. I continued the same routine for months, till I finally got fed up.
Mom used to get so agitated as she did not know if it was good or bad for me. She used to chide me saying that whatever memory power I have is also going to go, if I were to overdo. And she was absolutely right. Now years after that, I have not gained any elephant’s memory, but have rather become very forgetful 🙂 .
That was on a lighter vein. But a fact to always be remembered is that, greens that have medicinal value should never be had on a daily basis.
Over to the recipe..
Gotukola Sambol/Vallarai salad
- a good handfull gotukola/vallarai leaves
- 1/4 cup grated coconut
- 6-7 Shallots (small onions)
- 2 small green chillies
- 1 small lemon
- salt to taste
- Pepper (optional)
- Grate the coconut and chop the chillies, onions and gotukola very finely
- Take all of this in a bowl. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Mix well using your hands so that everything gets well infused.
- Serve as a side dish with rice
- Srilankans generally use the stalk also in this salad, but I found it a bit hard on the tongue, so have preferred only the leaves with a bit of stalk.
- I did not add pepper as I had enough heat from the chillies
- Always shred the greens very finely so that they get well blended with the other ingredients. Else you will feel the bite of the greens which is not so very pleasant.
My other sambol recipes