Health Notes.,  Indian. Sri Lankan.,  Soups. Salads. Staples.,  Sri Lanka.,  Vegetarian Staples.,  World Cuisine.

Kola Kenda

Kola kenda is a creamy Sri Lankan porridge made of white or brown rice or a mix of both, coconut milk and gotukola (Indian pennywort) juice.  It is usually served as a breakfast dish with pieces of jaggery as a side dish, but I like to have it for dinner with pickles on the side. The porridge can be served thick in a bowl with a spoon or watered down in a glass.  This nutritious porridge is lightly aromatic and is a good source of energy for the child and the elderly.

I usually make the kola kenda with a bit of garlic, ginger and peppercorns for the added flavor.  When I blend the gotu kola leaves, I throw in few curry leaves and coriander leaves for their nutritional value.  Gotukola provides the dish with plenty of antioxidants that can help slow down the aging process if consumed regularly.  These leaves are also high in powerful nutrients like vitamins C and K, beta carotene, iron and folic acid and have been prescribed by ayurvedic practitioners in Sri Lanka for people suffering from allergy, inflammation of the joints and diabetes.

100 g cooked brown rice

100 g basmati rice grains, washed and drained

1500 ml water

4 garlic cloves, sliced

4 slices of ginger

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon salt

70 g gotukola leaves

5 g curry leaves

20 g coriander leaves

200 ml coconut cream

300 ml water


  1. Place cooked brown rice, drained basmati rice, water, garlic, ginger, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns and salt into a heavy bottomed pot and simmer over medium heat until the rice is cooked and breaks up into porridge consistency. 
  2. In the meanwhile, place gotukola leaves, curry leaves, coriander leaves, coconut cream and water into a blender and blend till smooth.
  3. Strain the juice and pour into the boiling porridge. Keep stirring constantly until it just comes to a boil and turn off heat.  Do not boil the porridge at this stage as nutrients in the leaves and the rice will get destroyed by the heat
  4. Serve with jaggery or pickles.

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