Pan Fried Teasel Gourd – Wild Bitter Melon




Pan Fried Teasel Gourd - Wild Bitter Melon


Monsoon is a delightful time of the year for a foodie in my coastal southern Karnataka. There are some very unique fruits and vegetables which are grown wild and only available during monsoon.

One such vegetable is Teasel Gourd, a wild spiny bitter melon (Momordica cochinchinensis) which looks like miniature bitter melon but not nearly as bitter. They are beautiful green in colour and have tiny spines all over them. They are available frozen in Indian stores outside India and are called ‘Kantola’ (in Hindi).

They taste great simply stir fried with some basic Indian spices or deep fried dipped in fresh rice ground into a batter with dry red chillies. But one of my favorite way of eating it is pan fried!

Fresh Teasel Gourds are cut into 1cm thickness slices, dipped into a spicy dry mixture of rice flour, semolina, salt and red chili powder and pan fried! It cooks fast and is easy to make! They are soft and crisp and heavenly! Serve it with rice and curry as a side dish or as an evening snack.



Pan Fried Teasel Gourd - Wild Bitter Melon



Teasel gourd cut into slices



dry ingredients



coat the slices with it



pan fry till golden brown



Pan Fried Teasel Gourd - Wild Bitter Melon


[typography font="Cantarell" size="24" size_format="px" color="#b36f98"]Ingredients:[/typography]

  • 6-8 Teasel Gourds
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup wheat semolina
  • Chilli powder or cayenne pepper – according to taste
  • Salt – according to taste


Mix all the dry ingredients together. Taste to make sure it is very spicy. The intensity will come down a lot when it’s fried. Cut the Teasel Gourd into thin slices of 1cm thickness.  Dip it n the dry mixture. If it’s not coated well, dip the gourd slices in water before dipping into dry mixture. Simply pan fry them till golden brown.

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  • srinivas

    my compliments for the cute and delicious article !!

  • Prama

    Good site
    Your article-writing

  • anushruti

    I love to make potatoes, yam, brinjals, etc this way too. This looks delicious!

  • julialikesred

    what? WHAT? this is awesome. Last time I tried to whip up some bitter gourd I failed miserably – I shall have to try this.

    • Chinmayie

      Hey! Teasel Gourd is not the same as Bitter Melon/Gourd. I am not sure if the same recipe with work for both!
      Will soon post a recipe for Bitter Melon here… :)

  • Sarah

    I’ve seen something that looks like this in grocery stores in Canada – only way longer. Like the size of a cucumber. Do you think they are the same ingredient?

  • Tanvi@SinfullySpicy

    Bitter melon Ah this is one veggie my family is crazy about but I dont like it :) Looks a great recipe to forward to my mom who is anything bitter FREAK!!

    P.S.- I should stop coming to your blog- Looking at all those indian things- I miss home :) ..just joking!

  • Jackie

    I don’t know what the heck a teasel gourd is BUT I want one now! I’m gonna be on the look out for those little guys at the farmers market from now on! (& you possibly just added a new word to my arsenal for WORDS with friends)

    • Chinmayie

      I don’t know if fresh Teasel Gourds will be available but I am sure you will be able to find frozen ones in Indian stores :)

  • Nami @ Just One Cookbook

    Hi Chinmayie! Wow, I’ve never seen wild bitter melon. I like the unique and interesting look of this veggie! I wonder how it tastes like and I’m so curious! My Indian friend has the same frying pan like yours and I think it’s so cute.

    • Chinmayie

      Hey Nami, They taste slightly bitter, really soft and meaty. It’s really tasty!
      Thank you! Thant’s my mom’s frying pan :)

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