Kantola Vegetable is another type of Gourd, which is sticky from outside.Cantola or phagla or
agakara kaya is one of a rare vegetable and a great delicacy. Normally in winter these vegetable are available in Indian markets. This tastes similar to karela but little less bitter and it is short and round in shape. On the contrary you will get this vegetable any time in the USA in a can.
Varieties of cantola or kankad
There are two varieties of cantola normally, available in Indian vegetable markets .Though both of the
varieties look same in appearance, they are of different sizes .Small cantola is always in much demand
and price is always high compared to the bigger ones . Bigger one perhaps is the hybrid variety modified
from the original small ones.
Cantola is actually a wild fruit grows in vines. Even today wild cantola can be found in the jungles of Orissa,India.Tribals of Orissa,India, even now they use to collect wild cantolas from the jungles for their
uses as vegetable.
Cantola vines normally produce only one type of flowers - male or female . Hence, for polenation both type
of plants are required .Since research work is not done much on this specie ,information is limited on this
Health Benefits :
Has high lycopene content
Heals bruises, wounds and swelling
Decreases risk of prostate cancer
Good for skin and vision
1.Phagla or Kantola Bhaji (Stir Fry)
Gently scrape the spikes of the kantolas (1/4 kg) and slice them into thin rounds. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add sliced kantolas, salt to taste and 1 tsp sugar and fry on medium heat stir frying the kantolas till brown.
Remove from heat. In the same pan add 1 tsp oil and add 1 cup of sliced onions and fry till rawness disappears. Remove from fire and cool. Grind the onions to a coarse paste.
Heat 1 tsp oil in the pan. Add curry leaves (optional) and fry for few seconds. Now add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly so that it doesnt burn. Add the onion paste and fry for 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp coriander pwd, 3/4 tsp chilli pwd, 1/4 tsp cumin pwd and mix well. Now add the fried kantolas and mix well. Cover with lid and let it cook in the masalas for 10 minutes on low heat.
Remove lid and stir fry constantly till the kantolas turn soft. Adjust salt and you can add some sugar if desired. Add 1/4 tsp garam masala pwd and mix well. Add chopped coriander leaves for garnish (optional) and serve hot with rice or rotis.
It goes well as a filling for sandwiches too.
2. Kantola Curry
This recipe is 'pulla bellam' means 'sour and sweet' dish with kantola. If you like recipes which are sweet and sour then you can try it.
Kantola - 1 can
Tamarind juice - 5 tbspn
Jagerry - 1 small lemon size
1. Cut or slit to half each kantola so that the gravy gets into it while cooking.
2. Take some oil in a pan and add the kantola peices
3. Fry the peices for 5 - 10 mins on low flame till it is almost cooked. Add salt.
4. Now add the tamarind juice and jaggery
5. Close the lid and let the peices cook well in the tamarind and jagery juice.
6. Once cooked add some chillie powder and remove from heat.