Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spicy kantola(Indian teasel gourd)

Kantola is a spiky/spiny Indian gourd that looks a little like a small bitter gourd (karela).It is known as teasel gourd.Teasel cucumber or teasel gourd scientific term (Cucumis dipsaceus), another curious species of Cucumis with yellowish fruits covered with a dense layer of soft spines. The common name is derived from its superficial resemblance to the spiny fruit bur of the teasel plant (Dipsacus sativus), a member of the teasel family (Dipsacaceae) shown in next photo.

The teasel gourd is native to northeastern tropical Africa and is cultivated throught the world as an ornamental. It is naturalized in the Hawaiian islands and in the Cape region of Baja California. The spiny African horned cucumber or hedgehog gourd (C. metuliferus) is another species of Cucumis grown as an ornamental and as food. The numerous varieties of delicious melons also belong to the genus Cucumis.
Most melons are considered to be varieties of Cucumis melo.In India, they are freshly available, but in USA these are available in Indian stores
in the frozen section.

12 oz frozen pack (about 340 gms)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tlsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ginger/garlic paste
1 tsp tamarind juice(from pulp)
1 medium sized onion(thinly sliced)
2 tbslp vegetable oil
salt to taste

Preparation: In a medium size pan, sautee onions with 2 tbslp vegetable oil
till they are light golden brown. Add ginger/garlic paste and then add all the above spices. Rinse the frozen vegetable in a cold running water and then dry out thoroughly. Add the kantola to the pan and stiry fry for 8- 10 minutes. Add sugar and tamarind juice. cook uncovered, till they have soaked all the spices and ready to eat. It is delicious to eat with rotis or chappatis and even with white rice and dal(lentils).

Cook time:30-40 minutes

serving size:2-3 people

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