A Karahi Pan is a wok like pan used in indian and middle eastern cooking. It is a two loop pan with a higher sides. They are often used for curry, stews and individual serving. In the states, these type of cookware is pretty rare. Most stores do not even carry them. While there are some that are authentic Karahi Pan, I personally recommend that you get a Wok or Balti pan of similar design. To help you out, we listed some of the Best Karahi Pan available.
Best Karahi Pan List
Since the offering in the states is a bit limited. The best might not be the best Karahi Pan you can get. But rather the Best Alternative. If you want a traditional Karahi Pan, I have included a few options below. Find one that best suits your need.
Lodge Pro-Logic Wok Kadhai Pan (Best Overall)
While it does not have as large of a sloping shape as a traditional Karahi Pan, it really is the best option there is. The flat bottom surface means that it can heat up fast and stay put on the stove. It has two loop handle for easy transportation. And the heavy cast iron construction means that it can stay hot for a lot longer than the other models. Great for our home stove. They even have a Smaller Version of this wok, you can use those as mini serving plates.
Indian Pure Iron LOHA KADHAI (Best Traditional Karahi Pan)
If you truly want a pan like the Indian use, this is your best bet. The sidewalls are tall and the bottom is round. If you plan on getting this, I recommend a Wok Ring to keep it stable. Since this model is made of Iron, it can hold a seasoning and become nonstick overtime. However, it can rust just like cast iron. So you need to be careful about drying and letting it soak in water. According to some reviewer, they might have some quality issues with the handle. I recommend you inspect it when you receive it.
PLANET 007 Aluminium Regular Karahi Cooking Kadai Cooking Wok (Best Aluminum Model)
For a Aluminum model, Planet 007 makes a good model. It uses a traditional Karahi shape and the aluminum is a great conductor of heat. However, there are two things you should be aware of. Aluminum is a pretty soft metal, they can warp under high heat. The other is that its reactive. If you cook acidic food like tomato, it can give a partially metallic taste. Other that that, its a great metal for a pan. Since the bottom is round, you should use a wok ring as well.
Avs Stores Set of 4, Indian Copper Serveware (Best for Serving)
These miniature serving plates are great for serving Karahi Chicken. The design makes it feel like you are serving your guest in a Indian Restaurant. The interior is also lined with stainless steel instead of tin, so you can be sure that it will last a lifetime. This model comes with a set of 4, great for serving family and guest.
Karahi Pan Uses
The Karahi Pan is most famous because of Chicken Karahi. Its a northern indian dish where the chicken is stewed and cooked in a Karahi Pan. While the Indians uses spice and chili in their dish, the Pakistan version has no pepper. Usually bread of naan is served on the side.
The benefits of a Karahi Pan is that they hold a lot more liquid than a traditional pan. They can be used for stir fry, deep frying, steaming and more. It pretty much can do whatever a wok can do. However, in Indian cooking, its most used for making currys and stews. Smaller individual Karahi Pan are used for single serving. Considering how versatile both of these cookware are, you cant go wrong with it.
Metals and Variations
There are two types of Karahi Pan available. One is a flat bottom and the other is a round bottom. Traditional one uses a round bottom, but if you plan on using it at home, you need to use a wok ring. The flat bottom is a little different but they’re more versatile and stable.
In terms of material, the traditional one uses a carbon steel one. They perform much like cast iron and hold a seasoning. After a while, they will develop a nonstick coating.
Copper version are also popular in India, but you do need to retin it. Something that is cheap in India, but expensive in the states. I would personally recommend that you get something a little easier to use. The little copper one are great for serving though. They give your dish an authentic Indian look.
Cast Iron models are also great, but in this situation, you would have to get something that was originally designed for a Faux Wok. Since they are a lot heavier than carbon steel, they can hold the heat a lot better than other model. Great if you intend on searing the meat before stewing.
If you intend on using a Karahi Pan in a induction stove top, you need something that has a magnetic pull with a flat bottom. Cast Iron, Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel should work. However, metals such a copper or aluminum wouldnt. their pull is much too low. The round bottom one should be avoided because they can not get a good surface contact. It simply wont get hot enough.
Best Karahi Pan Thoughts
A Karahi Pan is much like a Wok. Its just as versatile as well. Theyre great for making stews, stir frys and steaming. The traditional Karahi model has larger sidewall for extra capacity. However, a Wok will work just as well. Its unlikely that you will make stews of that quanity. Since there are a lot of models on the market, you should choose one that best suits you. I personally think the cast iron model by Lodge is the best. Its heavy and basically indestructible. The flat bottom also means that it will be stable on the stove.
Want more Indian Cookware? Check out our article on the Best Dosa Pan.