Akakarakaya Vepudu ~ Teasel Gourd Stir fry

Podi Pulusu and Akakarakaya Vepudu

Through out last week weather played spoil sport. Very wet days. And such days call for a favorite vegetable of mine, Aakakarakaya aka Teasel gourd. Called Kantola in Hindi, am not sure what its called in other regional Indian languages. Readers, please help?

Aakakarakaya, Kantola, Phagla, Teasel gourd

This is my feel good stir fry ~ lively, earthy and warm. Teasel gourd quarters are slow roasted in spices which bring out the flavor of the vegetable beautifully. It has a meaty texture and a unique flavor and makes a good side with rice and rasam or pappu pulusu.

Aakakarakaya Vepudu Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 45 mts

Serves: 3-4

Cuisine: Andhra



1/4 kg aakakarakaya, lightly peel, quarter

2 onions, sliced

large pinch turmeric pwd

1 tsp red chilli pwd

pinch of roasted methi pwd

1/4 tsp garam masala pwd

large pinch sugar

2 tbsps oil

salt to taste

For seasoning/poppu/tadka:

10-12 curry leaves

1 Drizzle 2 tsps oil in a vessel, add the quartered teasel gourds along with a large pinch of sugar and saute for 9-10 mts till they attain a pink shade.
2 Heat 1 1/2 tsps oil in a cooking vessel, add sliced onions and saute for 3-4 mts. Remove from vessel, cool and make a paste. Keep aside.
3 In the same vessel, the onions were sauteed, add the remaining oil, add curry leaves and the onion paste and saute for 4 mts. Add chilli pwd, methi pwd, haldi, garam masala and salt and combine.
4 Add the roasted teasel gourd quarters and stir fry on medium heat ensuring they don’t burn or stick to the pan. Keep frying till they well roasted and this could take about 18-20 mts.


Akakarakaya Vepudu ~ Teasel Gourd Stir fry

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  kantola


Through out last week weather played spoil sport. Very wet days. And such days call for a favorite vegetable of mine, Aakakarakaya aka Teasel gourd. Called Kantola in Hindi, am not sure what its called in other regional Indian languages.
  • Esther Aruna

    Hi Sailu

    Interesting! I had never prepared nor anyone in our house has ever cooked this vegetable. It looks absolutely gorgeous. My mouth watered as soon as I saw the texture of the dry curry. Thank you for introducing me to a new vegetable. Hope to see some more varieties of vegetables that I have not eaten or seen. Take care. God bless u.


    • Imran Basha

      Can you tell where can i get this vegetable or seeds ?

  • http://mydiversekitchen.blogspot.com Aparna

    I really don’t know what this is. I first thought it was some sort of bitter gourd. Seems to be the season for it as I keep seeing a lot of at the market here.

    Yes, Aparna, its the season and will be available through out winter. It has a very slight bitter taste. Just lightly peel the outer soft spiny layer.

  • http://enjoyindianfood.blogspot.com/ Meera

    We call it Kantola in Gujarati and Kantola or Kartola in Marathi. I love this vegetable.

  • Anonymous

    I do it in a different way… Stir fry the gourd add tamarind paste, jaggery,turmeric,corriander powder,chilli powder and salt. Yummy….

    Will try your recipe soon.

  • Sharada Toodi

    Shilaja Garu,

    It is my and my daughter’s favorite too. This veggie is called in Telugu “Boda Kakara kaya”. I cook this only one way with onions and sengapappu. But anyway I am going to try your recipe today for dinner. I like your way of cooking.

    Sharada Toodi

  • http://konkanifoodie.blogspot.com Ashwini

    Hi Sailu,

    We call this Phaagil in Udupi-Mangalorean Konkani. I love the crispy fries made out of this dipped in rice-red chilli batter. Its called Kantola here in US (as marketed on the packets available in frozen section). Teasel Gourd is a learning for me, was not aware of it.

    ~ Ashwini.

  • http://gaurigharpure.blogspot.com Gauri

    this is my aaji’s favourite.. i am not quite fond of it, but saw some very fresh kartolas at the vendor yesterday.. might try this

  • Madhavi

    Hi Sailu garu,

    yummy ! I miss this one very badly, don’t find it in USA:-(
    We call this “boda kakarakaya”. Love your recipes absolutely.
    Take care and hope everything is fine at your coastal place with recent bad floods. – Madhavi

    We have been fortunate to escape nature’s fury but the people of Kurnool (Mantralayam and Srisailam), Nalagonda and Vijayawada took the brunt of the floods. Appreciate your concern and wishes, Madhavi garu.

  • srividya

    hi sailu, i know there were floods in andhra and hopefully things are fine at ur end.we find boda kakarakaya in US, available in indian stores in the frozen section called kantola. i usually stir fry them. the seeds are very crunchy. they taste good with dal etc, has become one of my favourites now.

  • Madhavi

    Hi Sailu garu,

    yummy ! I miss this one very badly, don’t find it in USA:-(
    We call this “boda kakarakaya”. Love your recipes absolutely.
    Take care and hope everything is fine at your coastal place with recent bad floods. – Madhavi

  • http://www.curryinkadai.blogspot.com kalva

    bavas fav.. not mine though.. should tell my sis this one

  • Lakshmi

    Hi Sailu,

    Pics are great as always- the fresh vegetable isn’t easily available, wonder if the frozen kantola will turn out like yours

    Glad you are safe

  • Dee

    Sailu , good to see this dish here … We also make a pulusu and its also called boda kakarakaya …. we make a teeya , pulla pulusu just like the bittergourd. I am so happy to see this here . its been years since I ate it and the frozen kantola doesnt do justice.

  • http://kaikriye.blogspot.com/ veda

    Hi Sailu,

    very interesting! i have never seen this vegetable b4. nice u bring a lot of variety to ur readers!


  • vijayabanu

    Hi Sailu

    I am a recent follower of ur blog.I dont know and have never seen this veggie.Also dont know what’s this veg is called in Tamil.It looks delicious.


  • Radha

    Hi Sailaja!
    I have started following your site recently and tried couple of recipes. I like your recipes since they are very similar to my mom’s cooking. Since my mom passed away few years ago, I missed my source of recipes until I found yours. Thank you for sharing.

    Do you have kakarakaya pulusu recipe that you could share?


    Your most welcome, R. Here’s Kaakara Kaaya Pulusu recipe.

  • Hari

    Sailaja garu,

    Thks for the recipe. I don’t have the faintest idea as to why this vegetable (teasel gourd) got the name ‘aakaakarakaaya’ because it tastes soo much different from the traditional ‘kaakarakaaya’ (bitter gourd).

    Please try to put atleast two / three new recipes every week.

    Please give recipes like Panasa Pottu koora, Beera kaaya thokku pachadi, Vankaaya perugu tho, Mutton fry, Sora chepa vepudu etc. etc.

    Thanks again…

  • Sirtaj

    I had the experience of enjoying this vegetable when I was a child and living in Chittagong. Since I left this place, I have had recently had them about an year back but the taste was different, still as they say a rose is a rose. Back then I had enjoyed many different vegetables like Barbuti (string beans) Potal and this one then called as Kakrool. Please post few recipes of Barbuti and Potal, which I would try and experience and call back my youth. Thanks for this one I am hunting for Kakrol and the day I get it I will try out this recipe. Thanks and I may be a stranger to all but I am an ardent fan of Sailu’s kitchen. With heartfelt prayers and best wishes.

  • praveena

    dearest sailu garu,
    Please suggest certain specials for diwali, both snacks and sweets. It is really boring to make payasam, annaparannamor kheer all the time

  • Uma Maheshwari C

    Hi sailu,

    I haven’t heard of this vegetable till now, will try soon. Can we try this recipe with bitter guord, it might be little bitter but can adjust. Please suggest few sweet dishes for diwali special.

    Best Regards
    Uma Maheshwari.C

    Yes, you could try it with bitter gourd too. Adjust the roasting time which will be less for bitter gourd. I have blogged a few festive sweet dishes.

  • Swapna

    Hi Sailu,

    The very look at this curry makes me very nostalgic as this is one of the favourite curries of my mom.It reminds me the most memorable moments of how much we used to enjoy this curry when ever this curry is made as this is a seasonal vegetable in India.I have never made this curry but will try to, by following your recipe. I often try recipes from your site and have come out really good.Thank you.


  • Priya

    Hello Sailu Gaaru….

    I Just Love your recipes. I saw this recipe on Sakshi paper just now.


  • http://www.asankhana.blogspot.com notyet100

    ummm even i have one post coming on this veggie…didnt know this was known as Kantola,..:-)

  • http://spiceandcurry.blogspot.com jaya

    Hi Sailaja,
    We call this in Bengali “Kankroll”…..we just deep fry them (marinated with turmeric powder and salt) and have them with rice ..never made into curry…we used to get lot of fresh ones from our native village whenever somebody would come to meet us in the city…
    the dry curry looks so good :)…
    hugs and smiles

  • http://satya-anwesha.blogspot.com/ Satya

    Hello Sailu gaaru,

    Thanks for the different fry. I always used to do only deep fry. Surely will try this recipe. I think this vegetable is seasonal in India, but here in US i see in every season, in the frozen section. We too call this aakakarakaya.

    Keep Rocking,


  • R.Punitha

    Hi Sailu,
    What is this? i couldn’t guess Sailu.
    But it looks so gorgeous.
    In your free time mail me more about this vegetable Sailu.
    Take care, bye….

  • Latha

    Dear Sailaja,

    Lucky me was able to find this vegetable y’day. Had checked your recipe only that morning so immediately grabbed them. We just had it for dinner. I steam-cooked the vegetables instead of frying (the first part). Also substituted sugar with jaggery. It’s an amazing dish. Thank you..

  • http://fastindianrecipes.com/ kshipra

    Hi sailu,
    These are also called murela (cousin of karela) and kakoda as far as I know.

  • Radha

    Hi Sailaja,

    Thank you for responding with Kakarakaya pulusu. Now I realize the steps I have been missing. I will try this soon.


  • Rama

    Hi Sailaja,

    Thanks for your recipes.chala try chesanu anni baga vachayyi.Baba bless you and your family.

  • http://anu-kitchenqueen.blogspot.com Anu


    Thanks for this recipe. I tried this out yesterday and must say it was yum! I used frozen of course. Wish i had fresh kantola to make this.
    In konkani(GSB), this vegetable is known as ‘Phagila’. We usually deep fry this. We make a spicy mixture with red chillies, asafoetida, dhania-jeera powder(optional), salt and coat Kantola and let is sit for sometime. Then use rice flour to dust the vegetable lightly and deep fry. It is a delicacy specially during festivals. We also add this in different coconut based dry curries – gives a nice flavor!
    Again, thanks for sharing this and all your different recipes!


  • Vasu

    This is one of my favorites. We do not peal the spikes though. Another way is to boil them, scoop out the inner portion (shoot and the seeds) and then stir fry with onions and spices.


  • shailaja

    hi sailu,
    This is a veggie which i tried last night for the first time and the entire family liked it. thanks for introducing us to a new veggie. Do u by chance know any of its nutritive values.
    thanks a lot and please let us know any other recipe of this vegetable
    thanks and regards

  • neelima

    hi sailu
    recently my friend introduced me to this vegetable.she gave me two different recipes and i tried them.they r different from yours.i found that this vegetable is bitter sometimes.is there any way to find out which ones are bitter?

  • Harsha

    Hi Sailu,
    Thanks for ur blog… its very useful..nice recipes.. I have asked my mama to try some.. by the way can you post Panasa Pottu Koora.. plz…..

  • gaurav

    hi. it vegtable name in uttar pradesh “KAKORA”.

  • chittal

    In konkani- its Phagila