Kantola is a spiky gourd – that looks a little like a small bitter gourd (karela). It is even probably a “relative” of the karela. In the frozen veggie packs, I find them written as an Indian gourd. I had not tasted this vegetable – was introduced to it when I started cooking here. It is similar to bitter gourd in taste, probably a little less bitter.
We make a simple roasted vegetable of it. Here is its recipe.
Kantola (Indian gourd): One 12 oz frozen pack (about 340 gms)
Green chillies: 2-3 roughly chopped
Mustard seeds: ½ teaspoon
Red chilly powder: ½ teaspoon
Turmeric powder: ¼ teaspoon
Coriander (dhania) powder: ½ teaspoon
Oil: 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed (non-stick) pan. Add the mustard seeds and fry till they pop.
- Add the kantola and mix well so that the oil is coated well on the kantola pieces.
- Mix in the dry spices (except salt) and stir well. Reduce heat to low and cook covered with occasional stirring.
- The kantola and spices might slightly stick to the base of the vessel, but you can gently stir and release them. This adds to the crispiness of the vegetable. If required, you may sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of water to help the vegetable cook.
- When half done (in about 10 minutes), add salt to taste and mix well.
- Cook on low heat till the kantola is cooked, but firm. It would be roasted with a light brown colored spots.
- Add the chopped green chillies and mix well. In about a minute, turn off the heat.
- Allow to rest for 4-5 minutes so that the kantola gets crisp and doesn’t stick to the pan.
- Serve hot with rotis or rice. This vegetable goes well with dal and rotis/rice. It is also yummy with yoghurt/curd and rice.
Note: You can also make it with 1 teaspoon of oil and cook the vegetable in water. The taste will be slightly different and the vegetable may not crisp up as much. I use this variation too quite often.