Kantola Sabji | Kakrol Fry | Spiny Gourd Recipe

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Kantola Sabji with step by step photos. This is a preparation made with lightly spiced and sautéed slices of spine gourd (a.k.a kakora). This is easy recipe of Kantola or Kakrol fry comes together under 40 minutes and makes for a good side dish with a regular Indian meal. A vegan. gluten-free Spiny Gourd Recipe made without onions and garlic.

kantola fry

About Spiny Gourd

Spiny Gourd as the name refers to this variety of gourd is a small green gourd with tiny spines. It is also called Teasel Gourd in English.

It is also referred to as Kakrol, Kakora, Kartoli, Kankada, Kankoda, Phagil, Phagla, Boda Kakarakaya and Kartole locally in various parts of India.

These green gourds with tiny and small spines, appear during the Indian monsoons. They have a slight bitter taste. Not bitter like Karela – Bitter Gourd, but a faint bitterness. When cooked, they have a nice soft texture.

Kantola or Kakrol Is often made in various regional Indian cuisines. During monsoons, we usually buy them and make this Kantola Fry, which is my mom’s recipe. Usually we shallow fry these gourds. But to avoid the extra fat, I have sautéed them in less oil.

You can check in the photo below how the spiny gourds look, if you have never seen them before. They are a seasonal vegetable that are easily available during the rainy season in India.

kantola spine gourd kakrol

About Kantola Sabji

The Kantola Sabji recipe is a four ingredient recipe and is made with spine gourd, black pepper, turmeric powder and salt. Instead of black pepper, red chili powder can also be added.

It is simple and easy to make. The chopped spiny gourd slices are marinated with the spices and seasonings first for 10 to 12 minutes. Later sautéed until tender and soft.

Instead of sautéing, you can also opt to shallow fry them. This will make them have a crispy texture. You can also add some rice flour or gram flour to enhance the crispiness.

This Kantola ki Sabji makes for a good side dish with dal-rice or sambar-rice or rasam-rice. You can even pair with flat breads like roti, phulka or paratha.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Kantola Sabji

1. Thoroughly rinse 200 grams of spine gourds in water. Drain the water.

Trim and discard the upper slender and thin stem and then slice vertically into four parts each of the spiny gourd. You do not need to peel the spine gourds.

If the seeds are tough, then remove them. If the seeds are soft or tender, then no need to remove them.

Collect the sliced spine gourds in a mixing bowl.

rinse the kantola in water

2. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and ½ teaspoon black pepper powder on the sliced spiny gourds in the bowl.

add spices to kantola or kakrol

3. Mix the ground spices evenly with the sliced kantola. Cover the bowl and set aside to marinate for 10 to 12 minutes.

mix spices with sliced kantola

4. Later heat 2 tablespoons oil in a shallow frying pan and add the kantola slices.

frying the kantola

5. First stir to mix. Sauté and let them cook on a low heat. No need to cover the pan.

Keep on stirring the kantola slices at intervals, so that they there is even cooking and browning.

sauting kantola

6. When the kantola slices are half cooked, add salt as required.

stir frying kantola

7. Continue to sauté till the kantola slices get browned and are slightly crisp. Takes about 20 to 25 mins on a low heat.

If you want to cook them faster, you can cover the pan with lid. But here you will have to take care that the kantola does not get too much browned or burnt, so you have to open the lid many times to check.

If you prefer a slightly sour taste, feel free to add some dry mango powder (amchur). You can also drizzle some lemon juice on the kakrol sabji while serving.

fried kantola, fried kakrol

8. Serve the Kantola Sabji hot or warm as a side dish with dal-rice or with your everyday Indian meals. This Spiny Gourd Recipe also pairs well with roti or paratha.

You can opt to sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves while serving.

kantola fry recipe

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kantola fry recipe, kakrol fry recipe, kakora fry recipe

Kantola Sabji | Kakrol Fry | Spiny Gourd Recipe

This Kantola Sabji is a dry, sautéed preparation made with spine gourd (a.k.a kakora) slices with a few spices and seasonings. This is an easy Spiny Gourd recipe to make Kantola or Kakrol Fry and pairs well with Indian meals.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cuisine Indian
Course Side Dish
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 2
Units

Ingredients

  • 200 grams spiny gourd (spine gourd or teasel gourd or kantola or kakrol or kakora or phagil)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder or ½ teaspoon red chili powder – (to make it more spicy, increase the black pepper powder or red chili powder)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • salt as required

Instructions
 

Prep Spiny Gourds

  • Thoroughly rinse the spiny gourds in water using a colander or strainer. Drain all the water.
  • Trim the top slender stem and discard it. Slice each spine gourd vertically into four pieces.
  • You do not need to peel the spine gourds.
  • If the seeds are tough, then remove them. If the seeds are soft or tender, then no need to remove them.
  • Take all of the sliced spiny gourd in a mixing bowl.
  • Add turmeric, black pepper powder.
  • Mix the spices with the sliced spiny gourd. Cover the bowl with lid and keep aside to marinate for 10 to 12 minutes.

Make Kantola Sabji

  • Heat oil in a shallow frying pan and add all of the marinated kantola slices.
  • Stir to ix first. Then sauté and let them cook on a low heat. No need to cover the pan.
  • Keep on stirring the kantola slices at intervals, so that they there is even cooking and browning.
  • When kantola slices are half cooked, add salt as required.
  • Continue to sauté till the kantola slices get browned and are slightly crisp. Takes about 20 to 25 mins on a low heat.
  • Serve the Kantola Sabji hot or warm, garnished with some coriander leaves. Serve as a side dish with dal rice or rasam-rice or with sambar-rice. They also go well with roti or paratha.

Notes

  • Feel free to add your preferred ground spices. For a spicier version, increase the black pepper by a bit; or if you have added red chilli powder, add some more of it. 
  • For some tangy taste, opt to add dry mango powder (amchur) or drizzle some lemon juice on top while serving.
  • Depending on the thickness or thinness of the chopped spiny gourd slices, it can take more or less time to cook. 
  • The spingy gourds should be green. This means they are tender and not ripe. If they look yellow, it means they are ripened. So avoid making the sabji with ripened spine gourds. 
  • Be attentive while sautéing and stir often or else the kantola slices may get burnt. 

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This Kantola Sabji recipe from the archives first published on August 2014 has been republished and updated in January 2023.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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7 Comments

  1. I got kantola for the first time on a whim. Yours is the best recipe available on internet. So simple and tastes wholesome. I am forever going to cook kakore this way only. Thank you.

    1. thanks a lot nupur for this awesome feedback. so glad to read it. this is the simplest recipe of kantola fry and not complicated.
      welcome and happy cooking.

  2. Hi…. this is it..!! My favorite sabzi… but never knew the perfect recipe. My mother in law use to first fry it and i could hardly find any difference in kantola and karela sabzi taste.. now i will cook this one… thanks dassana….thanks a lot

  3. Tried it now…..first time I am buying this veg…..my mom told her aunty used to make phagil fry using rawa and red chilli powder dusted gsb style

    1. we usually buy in this season. sometimes i just shallow fry and sometimes cook with this method. i will try with the raw and red chili powder, gsb style 🙂