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Kantola / Spine gourd : Availability, Nutrition and usage

Kantola / spine gourd, the small spiny vegetable can easily pass as a distant relative of the bitter gourd. They look somewhat similar in appearance but there is no similarity in taste.

Kantoli- Appearance, texture, and taste.
Kantola / Spine gourd

Kantola / Spine gourd

Kantola / Spine gourd comes from the gourd family. Kantoli is small about the size of a lemon i.e. around 2-4cms in length.

It has a spiny surface.

The color is usually green, shades change to greenish yellow or yellow as it ripens. It has a distinct taste of its own.

Scientific Name:

Momordica dioica

0ther names:

Teasel gourd (English), Karkotaki (Sanskrit), Kantholi/Kartoli (Marathi), Kantola (Hindi), Bara karela ( Rajasthani, Bhat Korola/ kakrol (Bengali)


Kantoli/Spine gourd Though not a native of India is grown in many different parts of India and has medicinal properties. It is mainly available during the late summers to monsoons.

Purchasing and storing:

Preferably buy green but even the greenish yellow ones can be used.

They can easily be stored in the fridge for over a week.

How to clean a Kantola?

  • Wash the surface clean.
  • Remove the stem.
  • Cut into slices, pieces or rings.

Kantola / Spine gourd

 Nutrition facts:

Kantola has carbohydrates, proteins, fat, fiber and nutrients like vitamin c, some B vitamins, phytonutrients, flavonoids, and antioxidants.

Culinary Uses: 

Kantola / Spine gourd

Kantola / Spine gourd pakoda

Though there are many dishes one can make using kantola. Some of the dishes known to me include:

  • Pakodas
  • Stuffed spine gourd
  • Gravy
  • Dry vegetable.



Also, read about the other lesser known vegetables which are locally grown on the blog – Phodshi, Takla, Ramkand,  Dragon Stalk yam, and  Carambola. 





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