Kantola Palya / Subzi/ dry curry:

Kantola has many names like Spine gourd, Teasel Gourd, phagila, Mada hagala, locally we call this as “Kaadu peere” in Mangalore. Kantola is one of the famous and nutritious vegetable of coastal region and some Eastern parts of states. This monsoon vegetable is loved by all. This resembles a bitter gourd in structure, but not in taste. It is a crunchy mild flavoured vegetable.  It is a great health food as it is rich in proteins, Iron, and antioxidants and low in calories. It is high in fibre too.                  

In my family, we usually relish this in two ways. One is crunchy,  tawa fry form or as a palya. I make palya in two ways. One is garnished with  fresh coconut. Other one is  with coconut, along with little crushed roasted peanut. Both side dishes tastes equally good.


Kantola – 500 grams

Onion – 1

Garlic – 7 to8

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Tamarind – small gooseberry size.

Red chilli powder – 1 to 2 tsp

Salt – to taste

Jaggery –  to taste

Fresh Coconut – to garnish

For seasoning: Coconut/ Vegetable oil, Mustard, urad dal, chana dal, cumin , curry leaves.


-Wash Kantola, chop into small slices. Chop onion and crush garlic. Soak tamarind in a cup of water.

– Take one kadai, heat oil, splutter mustard, add urad and chana dal. Fry until it turns red. Add cumin and curry leaves as well as crushed garlic.

-Add chopped onion, add turmeric, fry until onion turns transparent. Add tamarind water, red chilli powder, salt, jaggery.

-When it starts boiling, add chopped Kantola and mix everything , close the lid, and cook in a low flame.

-After water drains, Kantola turns soft, garnish with coconut or coconut as well as crushed roasted peanuts.

Mix everything and cook further 3 more minutes and switch off. Serve as a side dish with rice or roti.



Dum Aloo:

Dum Aloo is originally from Kashmir. Normally baby potatoes are deep fried and dunked in a mild and flavorful gravy. Here I have made it without deep frying as well as without peeling the outer skin. I normally avoid removing outer skin of potatoes due to its nutritional value as well as the taste.

In dum aloo, curd is the main ingredient, which is used as a souring agent with the additional Indian spices. Dum aloo tastes very good with any Indian flat breads or with mild Pulav.


Baby potatoes – 15

Onions – 3 medium size

Green chillies – 2

Ginger – 1 tsp (freshly chopped)

Oil – 3 to 4 table spoons

Fennel seeds – ½ tsp

Turmeric – ½ tsp

Red chilli powder – 1tsp

Garam masala – 1 tsp


Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Coriander leaves – 3 to 4 table spoons

Hung Curd – ¼ cup

Cashew chunks – 2 table spoons

Hot milk – ¼ cup

Kishmish / Dried grapes – 2 table spoons


-Soak cashews in Hot milk and keep aside.

-Wash potatoes, make half or quarter pieces according to its size.

-Heat 1 table spoon of oil and roast potato pieces a little and keep aside.

-Take one mixer jar, dry churn onions, ginger and green chillies.

-Heat oil in a kadai, add fennel seeds, roughly churned onion – ginger- chilli.

-Fry until it is light brown, add all the powders, salt and fry for a while and add roasted potatoes, cup of water and cook in a low flame.

-When potato is done, it is a time to switch off the gas. Never add curd while boiling the mixture, it curdles immediately.

-Now mix in curd, chopped coriander and mix everything, adjust the consistency by adding water and boil this mixture by switching on the gas.

-When gravy is ready, you would see a shiny layer at the surface. Switch off the gas.

-Now make a paste of cashew and milk and garnish the curry with cashew paste and dry grapes and serve with Roti or Pulav.