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.