A Tava or Tawa pan is a circular concave/flat pan mainly used in Asia. These pans can be used in a convex or concave form. In the convex form, its commonly used to heat up flat bread, naan or pita. When in a convex form, its used mainly as a wok. The size of these Tawa pan are usually large and designed to be used over a open fire. However, for home use, the pan are typically flat and smaller.
How to Use a Tawa Pan
Using a Tawa Pan is the same as using a frying pan. Just heat it up over the flame and cook as usual. For smaller Tawa Pan, you can probably heat up one pita at a time. The concave form of the Tawa Pan makes as a great miniature wok. The slightly dipped shape pools all the oil down the center. This makes it easier to fry food and reduce your overall use of oil. The outer edge of the pan can be used to keep food warm while you fry.
While Tawa Pan are used mostly to heat up pita or flatbread. You can do other stuff as well. Most notably is make crepe or dosa. Since there are no lip, you can easily run a spreader without the rim getting in the way. I will also use a Tawa pan for heating up tortilla.
There are a few different materials used for a Tawa Pan. The traditional one uses either cast iron or carbon steel. They are heavy and store a lot of heat. This makes it great for searing food. After a while, the pan develop a nonstick coating.
If you plan on cooking stuff like eggs or meats and you have trouble sticking. A nonstick version might be better for you. Nothing sticks and its one of the easiest to clean. However, it does have a limited shelf life. After a while, you need to replace it. It also has a upper heat limit. If you over heat it, the nonstick coating can deteriorate.
Cook Top Compatibility
Because of the Shape of the Tava Pan, these are best suited for gas range. Electric and induction cook top simply wont work. They dont get enough contact with the flat surface to get hot enough. With a fire stove top, you can use it in either concave or convex form.
Best Tawa Pan List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Tawa Pan. I have listed a few in different categories. Choose one that best suits you.
Nakshathra Cast Iron Dosa Tawa/Cast Iron Dosa Kallu (Best Overall)
For the best and most traditional Tawa Pan, choose Nakshathra. The pan is 14 inch in diameter letting you cook multiple bread and food at once. It also uses a cast iron construction so its pretty much indestructible. After you heat it up, the pan will stay hot and make it perfect for searing food. Whats great about this pan is that its 5 mm thick, a lot better than the competition.
Eris Concave Griddle Tava (Best Nonstick Model)
Cast Iron are good, but they can never rival nonstick pan in terms of sticking. They are great for eggs, vegetables and more. The handle is also plastic so that it wont get hot on the stove top. This model is slightly smaller making it more efficient and compact. Great for Crepe, Roti, Dosa and Naan.
Victoria Cast Iron Pizza Crepe Pan, Dosa, Roti Tawa (Best Flat Tava Model)
Concaves are nice but some people just want it flat. In that case, Victoria Cast Iron pan is nice and flat. This make it easy to spread batter and make flat dosa. This model uses a heavy cast iron construction so its also good for baking pizza. You can also heat up multiple naan and roti at the same time. At 15 inch, its one of the largest out there.
Hawkins/Futura Nonstick Tava/Griddle (Best Flat Nonstick Model)
Futura Nonstick Tava is the best for a Flat Tava model. This model is almost 13 inch in diameter so that you can make full size dosa or crepe. It also give you more room to heat up multiple bread. The only thing that I dont like is how thin it is. The good thing is that it will heat up quicker than the other pans.
There are a few options available. For the most traditional option, choose the cast iron model with a slight concave. They use less oil and make for a make shift wok. You can also use it in a convex form. Although most practical use at home is limited. For the nonstick option, there are also convex option as well. For a more normal model, you can also find flat model from victoria or futura. Just be aware, oil can roll off to the side easily.
Looking for more Indian Cookware? Check out our article on the Best Karahi Pan.