Kantola Or Kakrol Fry Recipe, India's Lesser-Known Gourd

Gourds have a rocky reputation in India - karela and dudhi can vouch for that - and the Spiny Gourd is no different. Also known as Kantola or Kakrol (and many others depending on which state you’re in), this lesser-known gourd of India may not be as popular as the mighty pumpkin or the ubiquitous bitter gourd, but it is no less of a culinary gem.

Derived from the Sanskrit word "kantak", which means thorn, Kantola is a spiky green vegetable that is commonly found in the tropical regions of India. It is also known as the spine gourd, teasle gourd, or even the pointed gourd, owing to its long, tapered shape and prickly exterior.

Kantola is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium. It is also rich in antioxidants, which help fight against free radicals in the body and promote healthy skin and hair. It’s also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal food for those suffering from arthritis or other inflammatory conditions. Additionally, it is low in calories and high in fibre, making it a great food for weight loss and digestion.

Of all the ways to cook the vegetable is in a dish called Kakrol Fry, a dish often associated with Bengali cuisine although versions of the preparation are found in almost every corner of the country. It requires a very basic set of ingredients and is quick to whip up which makes it the perfect side dish for a busy night. 

Video Credits: Nisha Madhulika/YouTube


  • 500 grams Kantola
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Wash the Kantola and cut it into thin slices.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to it. Once the cumin seeds start to crackle, add garlic and onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Add the sliced Kantola and mix well.
  • Add all the spices, salt, and mix well.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let the Kantola cook for 10-12 minutes on medium heat.
  • Remove the lid and let it fry for 5-7 minutes on high heat, until it turns crispy.
  • Serve hot with roti or rice, and enjoy the delicious and nutritious Kantola fry!