Kantola Fry | Forest Bitter Gourd Fry | Fagla Fodi

I was always a fussy eater in my childhood. I don’t know how many of the yummy things I have missed in my life due to this fussiness. One such thing would have been “Phaglacho Fodi” or “Fagla Fodi”. “Fagla” are also known as Forest Bitter Gourd or Kantola or kakrol or spiny gourd or teasel gourd and are available in grocery stores during monsoon season. Below is a beautiful experience of my life with these fagla or kantola or teasel gourd and this particular dish reminds me of.


Fagla Fodi, Teasel gourd fry, Kantola, Kakrol, Forest bittergourd,spiny gourd
One day in monsoon my mom cooked “Fagla Fodi” for my Dad. I asked my mom what it was, she asked me to taste and see how good it is. I said a big NO. Then my dad told me the same and when my dad tells me something I can never say NO 🙂


When I tasted teasel gourd(fagla), I did not like the first bite. I liked the second bite and then there was no stop. I fell in love with it. Now  during the monsoon season, I never miss to buy these spiny gourds from the local grocery store. I even send kilos of them home for my Dad, since he too loves it. These kantola are not freely available in the local markets of Goa, but people travelling from Belgaum normally buy these forest bitter gourds as it’s cheaply available on the Goa-Karnataka border. These fagla are available only in the forest areas.


Fagla Fodi, Teasel gourd fry, Kantola, Kakrol, Forest bittergourd,spiny gourd
Only the name is Forest Bitter Gourd, but the taste is sweet unlike Bitter Gourd (Karela). They both belong to the same family and hence the name. You can call them cousin sisters 😉 Some people call them spiny gourd too. Don’t worry, you don’t have to remove the spikes while cutting them. Just wash these fagla, slice and cook.
Another incident that I remember was when I had gone to Belgaum with my friend during admission to my PG course. Her Dad also knew that I love Fagla and he got them for me and asked the waiter in the hotel to cook them for me 🙂
I introduced these kantola to my hubby after marriage and he too likes them now 🙂 Sometimes when I go to buy grocery, many ladies spot me buying this forest bitter gourd and come and ask what it is and how it is cooked. I then explain the procedure. Many more people also gather buy some kantola for trial purpose… Good advertising for the store.. 😀


Fagla Fodi, Teasel gourd fry, Kantola, Kakrol, Forest bittergourd,spiny gourd
I have not seen many people buying fagla in Bangalore and it can never be found in any of the hotels. These kantolas are very tasty . If someone makes it as a special dish in the restaurants in monsoon, I am sure that restaurant will attract more customers. Oh yes! these kantolas are only available during the monsoons… A special seasonal treat for me from nature is when these fagla are available in the grocery stores around.

Ingredients:                                                                               Prep. Time: 20 Minutes, Serves: 4

4 Forest Bitter gourd/fala/kantola
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the coating:
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tablespoon rava/Sooji
1 tablespoon rice flour
Salt to taste

Oil for shallow frying


1) Slice the kantola or forest bitter gourd and place them in water. Keep them in water for 15 minutes.
2) After 15 minutes, drain the water and apply chili powder and salt to them evenly.

3) For the coating, mix the rava, rice flour, chilli powder and turmeric powder. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to this.

4) Coat the sliced kantola in rava and rice flour powder.

5) Spread 1 teaspoon oil on tava/frying pan and place the coated fagla on the tava. Fry it on both sides.

6) Serve it with rice and tomato saar as an accompaniment.

Note: This post was originally published on 17-Aug-2012. It has been updated with new images on 15-07-2017 and republished.

kantola,fagla,kakrol,teasel gourd,spiny gourd


  1. says

    Those are not any different from the regular bitter gourd on the inside, but SO different on the outside!!! looks yummy Raksha – It has been a cultivated taste for me, but I think that came also with maturity 🙂

  2. says

    I have never seen this but would love to try it. I love your story of how you came to try it and the one about you at the megastore. I would definitely be one of those ladies who would come over and ask you about it and would be thrilled if you gave me a cooking lesson too:)

  3. says

    Hi Raksha,

    Thanks for you comment on my blog. Glad to follow your blog 🙂
    I have never seen this forest bitter gourd before. SOmething new to me

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