15 August 2013

Spiny Gourd (Kantola) Curry/ Nkhonathoi Ganh!

This is the time of the year when Baby bitter guordc Spiny gourd is in season, and this is one of my many favorite vegetable, the sight and taste of which represents everything about my hometown. It is called Nkhonathoi in my language, I know, it is quite a tongue twister ;). Ever tasted this? Seen this vegetable????

Here in the city, it is impossible to get anything better that these ones in the picture. Back at home, however, this veggie is twice the size, sometimes ripe yellow and much more tender than the ones I get over here in Hyderabad.

If you haven't tasted one of these, you sure must give it a try. It is nutty and lovely, especially when cooked with pork-fat. Yes!!! Anything with the P-Fat is delicious, always amps up the flavor of any dish. Look at this...loved every mouthful of it!

Even if you're not up for P-Fat bomb the dish will still taste really great, but I dare you to add it to get one ripper of a dish. You can also try and add fermented soy beans for added flavor, if you so choose. This recipe serves 2 person. You want to make sure that you do not overcook the vegetables nor under-cook it. It is essential that you add the garlic absolutely at the end so as to get the garlicky taste in the dish. Here's the recipe.

200 gms - Baby Bitter Gourd Spiny Gourd
100 gms - Pork Fat
1 - Medium Sized Potato, Diced
1/2 - Medium Sized Onion, Diced
1 - Medium Sized Tomato, Diced
1 Tsp - Chilli Powder
1 Tsp - Salt
1 Tbsp - Oil
5-6 - Garlic Pods
2 Cups - Water

Clean the vegetable, cut in half and keep aside.
Dice the pork fat and in a pressure cooker, brown the fat till it gives out oil and a nice aroma fills your nose.
Scoop out the browned fat, add 1 Tbsp of oil into the pressure cooker and fry the onions in it.
Add the remaining ingredients along with the browned fat, except the water and garlic, and cook for a minute or two just to develop the flavors.
Add water, when it comes to a rolling boil, toss in the crushed garlic.
Let the curry cook for a minute and then put on the lid of the pressure cooker and cook in medium flame.
Let the curry cook for about two whistles and then turn off heat.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve this delicious curry with hot rice and some dried fish chutney. Enjoy!!

Update: Some of my readers cared enough to let me know that this vegetable is called Kantola or Spiny Gourd. I've made the changes here. Thank you, guys!


  1. Is it possible for you to find or send me the scientific name of that type of bitter gourd you used? Nice recipe. Congrats

  2. i guess its kantola vegetable ,look :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momordica_dioica

    1. Thank you, Anonymous for the information! I've made the changes. Cheers!

  3. It's English name is Kantola (teasle gourd)

    1. Thank you, Sammer! Made the changes. Cheers!


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