Kantola/Spiny Gourd/Teasle Gourd

Kantola/Spiny Gourd/Teasle Gourd

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Kantola Nu Shaak






Kantola is a small, oval-shaped vegetable very similar to karela (bitter gourd).  Spiky on the outside and seedy on the inside,  it is considered a delicacy in certain parts of India where it is available only during the monsoon season.

In the UK and other parts of the world where Indian grocery shops abound, this vegetable can be found in the frozen aisle.

a real (albeit, rare) treat

Kantola is very low in calories (17 calories per 100 grams) and has numerous health benefits including dietary fibre, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

KantolaThe way my mum makes kantola is super yummy; the following is recreated from my memory and it is very close to how she makes it.

Enjoy with some roti and salad for a simple and delicious meal.


500 Grams kantola

1-2 Tablespoons coriander powder

1-2 Teaspoons cumin powder

1-2 Teaspoons chilli powder

1-2 Teaspoons Turmeric powder

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1-2 Tablespoons oil

Salt to taste


  1. Wash the kantola and either leave them in a colander for about half hour or dry them on a kitchen towel.
  2. Top, tail and halve them and finely slice them along their length.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the salt, coriander, cumin, chilli and turmeric powders.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan with tight fitting lid.
  5. Once the oil is hot, reduce heat and add the asafoetida followed by the spice powders.
  6. Stir for about 10 to 15 seconds and add the sliced kantola.
  7. Mix well so that the kantola is thoroughly coated with the spice mix.
  8. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes.
  9. Uncover and check for doneness. Also check for taste and add more of the coriander and/or cumin powder if you feel the need.
  10. Cover and cook for further 5-7 minutes.
  11. Take the pan off the stove and let the cooked vegetable be for a few minutes before serving.

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