Miz Chef

Cooking Up a Healthy Life

Kantola Secret

2 Comments

Okay, that was a very bad play on words. Forgive me. But kantola is a secret, at least to the Western world.

Kantola

Kantola

Kantola, also known as spiny gourd, is a member of the gourd family and is used mainly in India and parts of South Asia. I saw them in my favorite Indian market and was fascinated. I bought a few and looked up how to use them.

Most recipes I found called for slicing and frying them, or, occasionally, boiling them. I decided to fry them for my first experiment, but kept the spices to a minimum, since I wanted to taste their natural flavor. I added a little salt, a bit of crumbled chile flakes, and a dash of turmeric, since that seems to be the spice de rigueur for this vegetable. Some sources said to peel them, while others said not to peel them. I peeled a couple and found it to be tedious because they’re so small. In the end, the skin was not an issue.IMG_1254

So, I sliced up the kantola and, as you can see, they have seeds very much like squash or cucumber (also part of the gourd family).IMG_1256

I heated up some oil (I found this extra virgin olive oil-sunflower oil and I wanted to give I a try). I toasted the chile flakes, then added the kantola and, after a minute, the seasonings. Then I transferred them to a paper towel to drain.IMG_1257

And you know what? They tasted like—surprise—fried squash. The flavor was very mild, although a few had a slightly bitter aftertaste, but it wasn’t unpalatable.

IMG_1258

So, that was my timid first adventure with kantola. I’m going to go get some more and just go crazy. Maybe I’ll even mix them with other ingredients!

Author: Miz Chef

I am an Agent of Food—a writer, cookbook author, and personal chef.

2 thoughts on “Kantola Secret

  1. Just the way I like them….. 🙂

    Like

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