(Momordica dioica, M. cochinchinensis)
Other Names: Spiny gourd, Teasle gourd, Kakrol, Kankro, Kartoli, Kantoli, Bhat korola
Kantola looks like a very small karela (bitter gourd), but shaped like a water droplet 2 to 3 cm in diameter with surface covered in many small spiny dots. These are not sharp but should be peeled before eating. Kantola grows as a vine, which grows slowly but wildly. They change colour from dark green to light green and then to yellow which indicates that they are overripe and more bitter.
After peeling the spiny skin the vegetables are cut into quarters and usually curried. In some parts of India they are used to make pickle or hollowed, stuffed with spices and steamed. Kantola has a bitter taste but not as bitter as karela, and therefore has an acquired taste.
Requires a warm humid climate.
Kantola is not particular to any soil type and usually grows in poor, undernourished soil on the sides of roads and fields.
By seed or tubers.