This is a traditional Ayurvedic rice soup using the juices of medicinally valued leafy greens. On our Sri Lankan retreat this bright green bowl is a familiar sight at breakfast. Ranjan uses the herbal leaves of the area - gotukola, karapincha, polpala, depending upon the type of ailment that is being sought to prevent or cure. It is usually served at breakfast, hot, with a piece of jaggery (palm sugar) to counter the bitterness of the herbal leaves.
Gotukola is part of the parsley family; so fresh parsley works well in this recipe. You can also use other green leaves such as watercress, fresh coriander leaves, celery leaves, basil and baby spinach.
Lets take a look at parsley:
we tend to think of it as a garnish and don't give it much thought, but this herb does much more than make your plate look pretty.
it's high in antioxidants like vitamin C,A and E which can soothe inflammation, so excellent for conditions such as arthritis
Prevents lines and wrinkles
parsley is really good for the complexion thanks to the vitamin C which makes collagen
settle your stomach and reduce bloating with the help of this soothing herb (Kola Kanda is the perfect stomach soother) Its also used to treat urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones.
parsley has plenty of vitamin A which ensures optimal health of our eyes
Recipe - for 1 person
50g red rice or brown basmati rice, soaked overnight or white basmati rice
pinch of asafoetida or 1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
50g parsley or other green leaves/herbs
50ml coconut milk
ground black pepper
piece of jaggery (optional)
Rinse and drain the rice and transfer to a pan of water. if using red or brown rice, cover with 200ml water. If using white rice cover with 150ml water. Add the asafoetida or garlic, if using, then bring to the boil and simmer until slightly overcooked. Remove from the heat.
Wash the parsley or other green leaves that you are using. Mix with 100ml water and the coconut milk and blend until it's the consistency you like. (chunky or smooth)
Add this herb smoothie to the rice, stir well and remove from the heat. Taste and season with sea salt and black pepper. Add more water for a thinner texture. Jaggery is optional.
The above recipe is an amended Western version. The traditional recipe involves grinding the red or brown rice into smaller pieces. The water is added to the broken rice grains and boiled. Coconut milk, garlic and finely chopped ginger is added to the rice, and stirred until the rice is soft. The herbs are also ground to extract the juice and this is added last with salt and removed from the heat to avoid destroying the nutrients from the herbs.