Pan Fried Kantola (Phagla phodi)

Pan Fried Kantola (Phagla phodi)

Pan fried veggies - Raw fry/tawa fry - Phodis of Konkani cuisine

Some veggies just taste delicious on shallow frying. These shallow fried/pan fried veggies are called rava fry or tava/tawa fry in India. They are made by coating veggies with spiced semolina or rice flour. They are then shallow fried using oil. This process makes any boring veggie taste delicious. :)

Konkani cuisine entails an array of shallow fried/pan fried veggies. They're a part of daily Konkani lunch & dinner. There has to be at least one shallow fried veggie to complete a Konkani meal. These shallow fried veggies are called phodi in Konkani & are served as a side for lunch & dinner. For me, they are starters, my snack & I can eat them any time of the day. :) They're delicious & are my favourite. We shallow fry raw banana, ripe Nendran banana, potatoes, brinjals/eggplant/aubergine, bread fruit, kantola, capsicum, bitter gourd, sweet potato, colocasia tuber, tender bamboo shoots, raw jackfruit, lady's finger, ridge gourd, chayote squash, elephant foot yam to make delicious phodis. Yup, that's a big list!

One such delicious shallow fried veggie is kantola. Kantola tastes amazingly delicious on shallow frying. They are a Konkani favourite. They are shallow fried using semolina/rice flour are called phagla phodi in Konkani. 

Konkani cuisine adores kantolas. Kantola are also known as teasel gourd/Indian gourd. They're called phagil in Konkani. Since kantola are seasonal they are even more sought after by the Konkani community. Konkani’s go to great lengths to lay hands on them during their season, no matter how much they cost! Kantola are usually available between August and December. And Konkani’s make a variety of dishes using this vegetable. We make kantola pickle(phagla koot), deep fried kantola fritters (phagla phodi), coconut chutney with pan fried kantola pieces (phagla sasam), spicy shallow fried kantola (phagla phodi), teasel gourd salad (phagla kusumbri). We also use teasel gourd in many curries along with other veggies. Some preparations that include these Indian gourds are valval and gajbaje ambat. They are 2 Konkani cuisine curries that are delicious. Read more about kantola.

Pan fried kantola (phagla phodi):

Kantola tastes great on pan frying. They can be made 3 ways. The most simplest way is to pan fry salted teasel gourds with some oil.

Or you can spice it up a little bit. Use red chilli powder with semolina or rice flour and pan fry them for a crisp exterior and soft slightly sweet interior. 

Here’s how to make them.


  • 1/2 cup rice flour/semolina (any sized rava, sooji shall do - chiroti rava or bombay rava)
  • 3-4 kantolas
  • 1 tablespoon of red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Few tablespoons of oil for frying

Serves: 2-3

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Resting time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 6-8 minutes

Preparation Method:

  1. Chop off the top and the bottom of teasel gourds. Wash them well.
  2. Thinly slice the teasel gourds horizontally or vertically. 
  3. You can make the slices a little thick if you like, they’ll then need some extra cooking. But you get to enjoy soft kantolas, a nice mouthful with every bite.
  4. Add salt to the slices, toss them well and keep them aside for about 15 minutes. During this time the slices take in salt & give out water. They get soft which fastens their cooking too.
  5. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix well semolina/rice flour with red chilli powder and a pinch of salt.
  6. After 15 minutes, roll the slices in semolina/rice flour mixture until it gets well coated on either side. 
  7. Then place the coated slices on a preheated hot frying pan. Drizzle each slice with oil on top.
  8. Cook kantola slices on high heat with a lid on for 2 minutes. Flip the slices. They would be cooked on one side.
  9. Drizzle some more oil if needed.
  10. Cook them on the other side on high heat for 2 minutes with the lid on.
  11. They should be cooked by then. If not cook them through until they are soft (if your slices are thick). 
  12. Serve them hot as a starter or as a side dish for lunch, dinner.

Find more fritter (bajo, phodi) recipes here.

Tags: Phagil, teasel gourd, phagla phodi, kantola, Indian gourd, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Konkani recipe, Konkani food, GSB Konkani recipe, vegan, vegetarian recipe, South Canara Konkani recipe, Konkani cooking, GSB Konkani cuisine. 

Chauthi, Ganesh chaturthi, chauti