Kantola/ Teasel Gourd Kosambri (Phagla Kosambri)

Kantola/ Teasel Gourd Kosambri (Phagla Kosambri)

Kosambri means salad in Kannada, kusumbri in Konkani. Here's a recipe to make Konkani style kosambri/kusumbri using shallow fried kantola. Kantola are also known as Indian gourds or teasel gourds and are called as phagil in Konkani. 

Serve this spicy kantola kosambri as a side for lunch. It's delicious with some crispy, some soft, shallow fried kantola in them. Onions used add a nice crunch to this spicy salad. 

What's your favourite way to eat kantola? I love to eat shallow fried kantola. Salted shallow fried kantola takes delicious. When they're shallow fried with oil they turn out a little crispy & you get a nice mixture of soft & crispy kantola like in the image below. Never tried them? Then you should because everytime I fry kantola to make kosambri out of them I end up emptying all of it before it even goes into kosambri. :-P I'm a complete hog. :)

Konkani cuisine's kantola dishes:

pan fried kantola - rava fry (phagla phodi in Konkani),

shallow fried kantola slices (phagla phodi in Konkani),

kantola fritters (phagla bajo in Konkani),

shallow fried kantola in coconut chutney (phagla sasam in Konkani),

kantola in a spicy Konkani style pickle (phagla koot/tambut in Konkani) and

kantola salad (phagla kosambri in Konkani).

Kantola are also used in various curries along with other vegetables like in gajbaje ambat of Konkani cuisine. More about kantola.

Here goes the recipe for phagla kosambri.


3-4 kantola finely chopped
1/2 cup grated coconut
4 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1/2 a lemon sized tamarind
1/2 cup of finely chopped onions - 1 medium sized onion
4 tablespoon of oil
Salt to taste

Serves: 2-3

Preparation Time: 35 minutes

Preparation Method:

1. Chop off the stem and bottom portion of kantola. Wash them well.

2. Finely chop kantola. Dice them uniformly.

If the kantola pieces are not uniform in size, the smaller pieces get crispy fast and tend to get roasted more, while the bigger pieces tend to remain raw. If you like a mixture of just cooked enough and crispy teasel gourds then that's fine. If not, take care while chopping them to have uniform sized pieces.

3. Transfer them into a bowl. Add salt to chopped kantola and toss them well.

4. Keep them aside for half an hour so that they take up salt. During this time, they give out water & get soft. This step also helps fasten their frying. 

5. After half an hour give kantola slices a nice squeeze using your hands to remove any excess water present and add them into a non-stick pan.

6. Heat the non-stick frying pan, add in oil and fry kantola pieces on medium flame until they cook through.

7. Saute them every now and then to ensure uniform roasting. 

8. Once they are cooked uniformly, remove them from heat. 

Once they are cooked, they then start to brown. Once they are slightly brown, they then tend to get crispy on cooling. Fry them for few more minutes if you like them extra crispy but do not burn them. 
Don't let them brown if you like them soft. They then remain soft on cooling and retain their taste which is awesome! I personally prefer them soft over crispy. Just enough fried, salty kantola, tastes awesome! I just hog on them.

9. Let shallow fried kantola cool down completely. The amount of kantola reduces considerably on shallow frying.

10. Meanwhile, prepare the ground masala to make this kosambri.

11. Heat a tempering pan, add in oil, coriander seeds, broken pieces of dried red chillies and fry them for a minute. Remove them from heat and let them cool.

12. Once they cool down completely grind them along with grated coconut and tamarind into a dry, coarse powder without using any water. Keep the ground masala aside.

13. Once the fried kantola pieces cool down, mix them well with finely chopped onions, ground masala and salt (if required) in a bowl.

14. Serve it as a side for lunch, dinner.

Side Note:

1. If you are in a hurry, then there's a simpler version of this kusumbri/kosambri too. You can mix fried kantola with freshly grated coconut, finely chopped onions and salt. And skip the ground masala. This simple kosambri tastes absolutely amazing too.

2. You can even substitute kantolas in this kosambri with bitter gourd. Karathe kusumbri as it is called in Konkani, also tastes great. 

3. You can also prepare surna (elephant foot yam, suran) kosambri in the same way as above. 

Other salads/kosambris/kusumbri that you may like:

Raddish Salad With Curds (Mulangi Salad)

Carrot Kusumbri (Carrot salad with delicious seasoning)

Konkani Cuisine Bitter Gourd Salad Recipe (Karathe Kusumbri)

And a High Protein Colorful Salad that is delicious. Do give them a try.

Tags: Phagil, teasel gourd, kosambri, side dish, kantola, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food.