In all its glory arrives the ever so essential and incredible season of the year, providing respite from the torrid heat. Yes, we are talking of the mesmerizing monsoon. Bringing in rain showers, greenery, fabulous breeze, and the earthy smell of the wetland, there is everything about the monsoon that we all adore. Besides all of this, who would say no to a cup of chai with some savory to go along while listening to the sound of rain? While there is everything about the weather that is resplendent, on the flip side it does bring an array of air-borne diseases and bacterial infections making us prone to various health hazards.

During monsoon, the tendency to get sick is immense, thus keeping our immune system strong and healthy becomes inevitable. While there is no dearth of green leafy vegetables that are flooding the market, picking the best and most fresh ones is crucial. One such nutrition-filled seasonal veggie is the spine gourd, teasel gourd, or kantola. Also known as bristly balsam pear or hedgehog gourd, this bright green veggie that goes by the scientific name Momordica Dioica is prickly to touch yet replete with many health benefits. Rich in proteins, iron, and fiber, it helps to strengthen the functioning of the digestive tract and keeps infections at bay. Teasel gourd is abundantly available during the rainy season. Native to Eastern Africa and the Indian subcontinent, these spiny wonders are primarily cultivated in Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, and northeastern states of India.

Also Read: Oil-Free Snacks To Satisfy Monsoon Cravings 

Health Benefits Of Teasel Gourd

If you are looking for a fabulous intake of nutrition with the freshness of the season, this seasonal vegetable which is low in calories with a great nutritional profile offers the following health benefits:

Keeps Bacterial Infections At Bay

Due to its anti-allergen and analgesic properties, teasel gourd helps keep seasonal cough, cold and other allergies away.

Fights Cardiovascular Disorders

A great source of phytonutrients, teasel gourd is beneficial to heart health and helps prevent various chronic cardiovascular diseases.

Aids Weight Loss

Teasel gourd is extremely high in water and fiber content and keeps the body satiated, reduces the overall calorie intake, and automatically promotes weight loss.

Regulates Blood Sugar levels

Teasel gourd has a very high fibrous content which aids efficient metabolism, easy digestion, and eliminates chronic constipation. Moreover, being high in fiber and low in calorie content makes this veggie an ideal choice for diabetic people.

Improves Vision

Lutein is a vital carotenoid that prevents various eye diseases and boosts eye health. Teasel gourd is rich in carotenoids, beta carotene, and Vitamin A, all of which are key nutrients for better vision and help improve eyesight.

Fights Cancer

Teasel gourd is a rich source of Vitamin C. This natural antioxidant removes toxic free radicals from the body reducing the chance of various types of cancers attacking the body.

Augments Skin Health

Teasel gourd contains various flavonoids such as beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthins that have potent anti-ageing properties. This vegetable is also blessed with antioxidants and protective scavengers to fight free radicals from the body.

With superabundant health and wellness benefits, spiny gourd despite its odd texture is a must-add to your monsoon veggie shopping list. Though it looks like a bitter gourd, this vegetable is not at all bitter. Well! To know more about the great benefits of this spiky vegetable, here are some mouth-watering recipes:

Also Read: Monsoon Recipes: Bite Into These Healthy Crispy Desi Snacks On A Rainy Day

Teasel Gourd Sabzi
Teasel Gourd Sabzi

500 grams teasel gourd

1 tsp mustard seeds

A handful of curry leaves

Few dry red chilies      

1 tsp red chili powder

Pinch of asafoetida

1 tbsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp jaggery powder

Half grated coconut

1 small bowl of tamarind pulp

Oil to fry

Salt to taste


Heat oil in a pan, and add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, and dry red chilies. When it crackles, add chopped gourd and stir well. Add little water, simmer for ten minutes, and add jaggery

Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, grated coconut, and sauté well

When water gets absorbed, add salt to taste

Teasel gourd sabzi is ready to be served with hot rotis or puris


Teasel gourd is the main ingredient that is rich in proteins, iron, and full of fibre. This dish also consists of tamarind which is high in Vitamin C.

Teasel Gourd Fry
Teasel Gourd Fry


½ cup sliced teasel gourds

1 tsp chili powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

3 tbsp oil

Salt to taste


Add chilly powder, turmeric powder, and salt to the cut teasel slices and mix them well

Allow them to rest for a few minutes

Heat a pan and arrange the slices side by side

Drizzle oil on the slices and cook in a closed pan for a few minutes

Flip over the slices, add oil on top and close them with a lid

Fry them again until they are cooked well

Serve hot


This easy-to-prepare side dish or as a part of main course can be made in very less time. The main ingredient is just teasel gourd which gives a perfect woody taste besides all essential vitamins and minerals. If the gourds are shallowly fried, the recipe retains more nutrition than deep-frying.