Saturday, July 7, 2018



The months of July-August are always associated with the rains.  During the monsoon season, we get  a seasonal vegetable that it popular in Dakshina Kannada called Phagil in my mother tongue, Konkani. Phagil is nothing but teasel gourd/spine gourd/kantola.

This vegetable is called Kantola in Hindi, Adavihagalakai in Kannada, Kakrol in Bengali, Akakarakaya in Telugu and Kattupavakai in Tamil.

We usually make dishes from Konkani cuisine -whose recipes you will find elsewhere in this blog- such as Phagil Phodis (Teasel Gourd Fritters), Phagila Puddi Sagle, and Phagila Talasani.

I was looking for a different kind of recipe for a change. I found this teasel gourd stir fry done in the Andhra style called Akakarakaya Vepudu in the popular website Sailu's Foods. I have adapted today's recipe from this.

It turned out to be quite delicious and we enjoyed it as a side dish with rice and dal


  • Teasel Gourd, 3-4, ( approx. 250 gms) 
  • Medium-sized Onions, 2
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Sugar, a large pinch
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/8 tsp 
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Roasted Methi Powder, 1/8 tsp 
  • Kitchen King Masala or Garam Masala Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Oil, 2 to 2 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste

Wash the teasel gourd, snip off the tip and cut them into quarters if they are of small size or slice them if they are of bigger size.  Remove the teasel gourd seeds only if they are hard. Keep the quartered/sliced teasel gourd aside.
Slice the onions 
Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan and when it gets hot add the sliced onions and saute them for 3-4 minutes till they become translucent
Remove from the pan, allow it to cool
In a small mixer jar, grind the sauteed onions to form a smooth paste adding 1 tbsp of water if necessary. Keep aside
In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry the teasel gourd (adding a little salt and a pinch of sugar)  till they change colour and become slightly golden brown. Keep aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add curry leaves and saute for a few seconds
Now add the ground onion paste and saute for 3-4 minutes
To this add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, roasted methi powder, and Kitchen King Masala powder and salt to taste. (Remember that a little salt has already been added while frying the teasel gourd) Mix well.
Next add the shallow fried teasel gourd, mix well so that they well blended with the onion paste and spice powders
Cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes or till they get properly roasted
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a side dish

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