KantoLe is available in Mumbai markets during Shravan/monsoon. If I am lucky, I sometimes get to see it at our local Indian market as well. This prickly veggie is used by Konkanis, Maharashtrians and Gujaratis. At least there are 3 different ways, this simple stir fry is prepared at my home. This veggie also goes by the names Kartola or FaggiL.
कं टो ळ्या ची भा जी
12 oz sliced kantole, fresh or frozen
2 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced
salt to taste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp fresh coconut
1. If using frozen kantole, place them in a colander and run against tap water so they are thawed. Drain.
2. Slice or cut potatoes in finger chips or matchsticks. Place in water till ready to use.
3. Heat an iron kadhai - nonstick can also be used. Add oil, and tempering ingredients.
4. As they splutter, add drained veggies. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Add chili powder.
5. If you like your veggies very crunchy, you may need more oil to saute to the desired crispiness.
6. Otherwise, cover with a lid and keep some water on the lid. Let it cook for about 20-25 minutes or till the veggies are cooked.
7. Add salt and garnish with fresh coconut - if using.
1. Traditionally, for making "partun bhajya", lid is not used but it needs more oil. So I like to cover it to save oil.
2. Traditionally, "partun bhaajya" are made in iron kadhai and then, cooked bhaaji is transferred to non-iron serving bowl. If kept in iron kadhai after cooking is done, the veggies tend to change color.
3. For South Canara Variation - use coconut oil and add 2-3 dry chilies, like byadgi in the tempering. Do not use chili powder.
4. For Gujarati variation - add dhana jiru or coriander-cumin seed powder along with the chili powder.
5. This bhaaji tastes best when you use fresh kantole.