Shaak To Posto: 7 Savoury Spiny Gourd Dishes To Try This Summer

The vegetable kandola, sometimes referred to as teasel gourd or spiny gourd, is frequently used in Indian cooking. It is well-known for having a little bitter flavour and a spicy exterior. Kantola is used in Indian cooking in a variety of ways, such as filled meals, curries, and stir-fries. It enhances recipes with a distinct flavour and texture that goes well with other veggies and spices. Additionally, pickles, chutneys, and snacks can be made with kantola. Owing to its adaptability and capacity to take on flavours, it is a widely used component in Indian regional cuisines, particularly in the monsoon and summer months when it is abundant.

Here are some dishes to prepare with kantola or spiny gourd:

1. Kakrol Posto:

The mildly bitter flavour of the kakrol is complemented by the creamy posto, making for a tasty and filling meal. First, peel and cut the Kakrol (Spiny Gourd) into rounds to make Kakrol Posto. Kakrol should be softly browned after adding panch phoron, a five-spice mixture, to hot oil in a pan. Add the green chillies, turmeric, salt, and posto bata (poppy seed paste). Cook until posto is thoroughly mixed in and kakrol is soft. For a tasty and cosy meal, serve this recipe with roti (Indian bread) or steaming rice. 

Video credit: YouTube/ Pasta Meets Posto

2. Stuffed Kantola: 

Wash and cut the kantola lengthwise, removing the seeds. Make a stuffing mixture using chopped cilantro, grated paneer, onions, and spices like chilli powder, cumin, and turmeric. Fill the Kantola with the mixture, and if necessary, use toothpicks. In a pan with oil, cook the stuffed Kantola until it's soft and golden brown. Serve hot as an appetiser or side dish; it goes well with rice or roti, or as a component of a thali meal.

3. Kakrol Bharta: 

A Bengali delicacy called Kakrol bharta is made from mashed teasel gourd, spiced with mustard oil. To make it, boil the kakrol till soft, then take out the seeds and mash it with chopped green chillies, onions, mustard oil and salt. You may also add some flavour with shredded coconut or prawn paste. For a hearty and tasty dinner, try Kakrol Bhorta with roti or steamed rice. It can also be eaten as an accompaniment to fried fish and dal (lentils).

4. Kantola Pakora:

Slice the kantola thinly and soak it in salted water for fifteen minutes to make the pakora. After draining, pat them dry. Combine rice flour, gram flour, salt, turmeric, chilli powder, and water to make a batter. After dipping the Kantola slices in the batter, deep-fry them till crispy and golden brown. Serve hot as a tasty snack or appetiser, accompanied by tamarind or mint chutney. Tangy and spicy chutneys go well with the crispy texture and slightly bitter taste of Kantola Pakora, creating a flavourful explosion.

5. Kantola Nu Saak:

Gujarati cuisine's Kantola Nu Saak is made with spinach (kantola), onions, tomatoes, spices, and occasionally potatoes. To make, fry onions till they turn golden, then add diced tomatoes and onions and season with red chilli powder, cumin, coriander, and turmeric. After that, sauté the cut Kantola pieces until they are soft and add the spinach. Serve with hot rotis or steaming rice and garnish with coriander leaves. For a filling and tasty dinner, it goes nicely with dal (lentil curry), kadhi (yoghurt-based curry), or a side of plain yoghurt.

6. Spiny Gourd Chips:

Slice the kantola thinly and combine it with salt, olive oil, and seasonings such as cumin or paprika to make Spiny Gourd Chips. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until crispy. Serve crispy and savoury Spiny Gourd Chips as an appetiser or snack. For more flavour and contrast, try them with spicy tomato salsa, mint chutney, or tangy yoghurt dip.

7. Kantola Stir-Fry:

Wash and thinly slice the spiny gourd (kantola) before preparing the Spiny Gourd Stir-Fry. Curry leaves, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds are added to hot oil in a skillet. Add the turmeric powder, green chillies, and sliced onions after that. After the onions turn golden brown, add the sliced kantola and continue to sauté. Add salt, coriander powder, and red chilli powder after cooking till soft. Add some fresh coriander leaves as a garnish, and serve hot alongside dal, rice, or roti.