Friday, August 6, 2021



There are some veggies that make an appearance only during some seasons. The fans of these veggies wait eagerly for this season so as to make all the dishes they can using this. One such veggie is Teasel Gourd/Spiny Gourd or Phagil in my mother tongue, Konkani. This is called Kantola in Hindi, Adavihagalakai in Kannada, Kakrol in Bengali, Adavikakarakaya in Telugu and Kattupavakai in Tamil.

Phagils are almost universally loved by all Konkanis when they makes an appearance in the monsoon months! They have a few health benefits as well. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for some dishes we make with phagils, such as:-

Today' s side dish is for Phagila Kismuri,whch is easy to make yet is so totally delicious! 
Normally this is deep fried but I prefer to shallow fry as this method uses less oil. 

  • Phagils, Teasel Gourd, 4 or about 250 gms
  • Coconut Gratings, 1/3 cup
  • Roasted Byadgi Red Chillies, 3
  • Small-sized Onion, 1
  • Tamarind, a small piece
  • Coriander Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, to deep fry or shallow fry, as required 

Wash the phagils thoroughly and snip off the two ends
Cut them into small pieces
Apply salt to the cut phagil pieces and leave it to marinate for about 30-45 minutes
Squeeze out the water ( released when salt is applied) from the phagil pieces 
Finely chop the onion 

In a kadhai, heat oil and deep fry the phagil pieces till they turn brown and crisp
Take care they are not burnt
Alternatively, you can shallow fry the phagil pieces using less oil 
The shallow fry method takes a little longer
Keep aside

In a small mixer jar, grind together the coconut gratings, roasted Byadgi red chillies, tamarind and coriander seeds and salt as required, with very little water to a coarse paste. Remember that some salt has been added to the phagil pieces while marinating
Remove the ground paste from the mixer and combine with chopped onion
This gives you the masala for the kismuri 

Finally, mix well together the fried phagils with the freshly prepared masala to make the Phagila Kismuri 
Please note this mixing should be done just before you are ready to serve this dish, as otherwise the phagil will become soft and lose its crunchiness 

Serve as an accompaniment to the meal of hot steamed rice and dalithoy.

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