Kola Kanda , an herbal porridge even called herbal gruel is one of the best healthy porridges from Sri Lanka that you must try if you visit Sri Lanka one day. Kola kanda is full of nutrients and full of flavours. Although you can cook Kola Kanda or herbal porridge by using only Gotukola, you can even cook it by adding more different leaves to the mix. With a blend of flavours from all these edible leaves which are easily found in Sri Lankan home gardens, Kola Kanda is a well-known herbal drink/herbal soup which gives many benefits to humans.
Apart from the many health benefits of kola kanda, today I selected this recipe to share due to its cooling effect on the body. In Sri Lanka Kola kanda is well known as a healthy herbal porridge that is good to cool the body. In our family, it is like a tradition to cook this herbal porridge whenever there is a need for cooling the body or whenever there is any allergy situation. (Of course, with proper medication)
Sri Lankan holiday and lots of sneezing
Last month we were in Sri Lanka for more than one month’s holiday. At the time we returned to Singapore, although we cleaned and mopped the home and floor, my kid started sneezing and showed signs of itching. Our home was closed for this whole duration, so I guessed this can be due to the dust collected inside the home. I started reading around to find some reasons and cures for these allergic signs. I was shocked to read that this can be due to the dust mites which we cannot see inside the bedroom!
Reasons and causes of bed allergies
Bed allergies can be due to dust mites. Recently I came across a post on Mattress Test about bed allergies which share some shocking facts. According to that post, these reactions are actually not because of the dust mites, but due to their feces. These feces can be accumulated under the coils of the mattress creating allergic conditions such as itching and sneezing.
Anyway, I reacted fast by cleaning all mattresses, pillows, and sheets again other than mopping the floor. These reactions and signs faded away in a few days from my kid. But, during these days I also cooked some cooling food to avoid the heat of the body.
In Singapore, I can’t find all these edible leaves easily to cook traditional Sri Lankan Kola Kanda. Instead, I found gotu kola and karapincha (curry leaves) for my herbal porridge. The photos in this post are from my recent Sri Lanka holiday because my mother cooked kola kanda a few times.
What are the leaves suitable for Sri Lankan Kola Kanda?
Below are some of the popular herbal leaves that you can add to your kola kanda or herbal porridge. You can add all or some of the leaves from this list.
Gotukola – Centalla asiatica
Welpenela – Cordiospermum halicacabum
Iramusu – Hemidesmus indicus
Hatawariya – Asparagus racemosus
Polpala – Avera lantana
Karapincha – Murraya koenigi
Ranawara – Cassia auriculata
There are many other herbal plants that are suitable for this porridge. Above are some of the plants and leaves that we use commonly for making kola kanda.
So below is the recipe for Kola Kanda which I learned from my mom.
Recipe: Sri Lankan Kola Kanda Recipe (Herbal Porridge/Herbal Gruel)
½ cup red rice (or white rice)
About 2 cups of Freshly grated coconut
Bunch of edible leaves including gotukola ,penela,hathawariya
1-2 cloves of garlic
2-3 black peppercorns (or as per taste)
Salt to taste
Wash all the leaves. Blend it in a blender together with freshly grated coconut using some water. Squeeze the juice. Keep aside.
Meantime, wash the rice and cook it by adding water. Add garlic cloves to the rice at the time of cooking. Add 2-3 black peppercorns if you like this to be a bit spicy. (Optional)
When rice is cooked well, add the juice of the leaves which we kept aside.
Add salt as per taste. Mix well and simmer. Add a little bit of water to achieve the required thickness of the porridge.
When the porridge starts boiling, remove it from the heat.
Serve with a piece of jaggery (palm sugar)
Hope you will try Kola Kanda at home. Please let me know the outcome in the comments.
Interesting recipe, impossible for me to try here in Belgium! I’ll try it when I’ll visit Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka,you can easily taste it from any food place…
I’ve never had anything like this but I wouldn’t mind trying it out plus it looks really healthy and I’m up for that.
Yes,it is really healthy and bit similar to green smoothies… 🙂
Interesting, I have never heard of this herbal porridge before. In Singapore, I normally take chrysanthemum drink or barley drink to cool down my body.
Barley drink is one of my favourite drinks too,here in Singapore…
I would give this a try! I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like this before so I’m intrigued. I hate allergies!
It is easy to cook when there are some edible leaves…. 🙂
I have horrible allergies. I’d love to give this a try. I’m not sure what sorts of edible leaves are around here, I’d have to do some research.
I’ve never heard of herbal porridge before but it sounds like a interesting recipe, I might give this a try!
it look very refreshing and would surely want to try if i can only get it here in Canada!
Sounds like an interesting recipe. I love using different herbs in my drinks.
I like healthy drinks. Drinks are the easiest way for me to get healthy in my body.
I didn’t know Herbal Porridge was a thing. You learn something new everyday I guess. I have never had allergies before but we never know!
I have bad allergies, and nasal inflammation (rhinitis). This might be worth a try for me. I’m going to attempt to make it, and follow up with you to let you know how it turned out!
I’ve never seen this before but it sounds interesting and healthy! I wish I had known about it when I visited Sri Lanka!
This sounds intriguing. I have never heard of most of these ingredients. I wonder if the larger Asian markets would have them.
Now this is such an interesting idea for a recipe, I would definitely be up for giving this a try at some time!
Wow. I’ve never heard of herbal porridge. I’ll admit, it looks a little scary, but if it helps with allergies, it just might be worth it!
Well I dont have summer here right now. But its always good to get pre-prepped. 🙂
A nice remedy for sneezing? I love porridge, but this looks smoothie too. Thanks for the recipe!
Omg I love green drinks!
Yum! What a delicious treat. Love that it helps clear colds as well.
Ohh, this is my first time to learn about this and glad I got another information and knowledge. Now, what I need to know is the availability of this in my country.
For this recipe,you need some edible leaves. 🙂
I love juicing a healthy way to loss weight. Aside from east to prepare it is also very refreshing.
I like the recipe. Looks so juicy
Very informative, you have covered some good areas here and im sure it will help many starting out. when you are going to publish new recipe
Thanks for reading the blog….
Amila I shall try this kola kanda
Please try it and let me know your experience…
Amila can we mixed gotu kola and curry leaves to prepare this kola kanda
Yes,you can mix gotu kola and curry leaves to prepare kola kanda.Make it in appropriate proportions,may be 1:1…
P.S.Sorry for late reply as I saw it now…