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How To Choose Dosa Tawa

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In this buying guide, we have shortlisted all the important factors that will help you buy the best dosa tawa. Let’s check them out.

1. Material:

Dosa tawas are generally made using three types of materials: Aluminum, Cast iron, and Anodized aluminum. Before choosing the material, you must be aware of all the pros and cons of each one of them so that you can pick the best one.

Material

  • Cast Iron:

Dosa tawas that are made using cast iron are the best when it comes to retaining heat. Even though it takes some time for the pan to heat up completely, once it is hot, the pan holds the heat for a long time. If the cast iron pan is seasoned properly, it becomes non-stick naturally without using any chemicals.

These tawas are durable and are not that expensive too. Even though it is easy to clean, you should make sure that you maintain it properly otherwise it can form rust.

However, there are a few disadvantages of cast iron dosa tawas too. They are quite heavy. Also, most of the cast iron pans cannot be used on induction cooktops. Thus, their usage is limited to gas stoves only.

  • Aluminum:

If you are looking forward to buying a lightweight pan, you can buy an aluminum dosa tawa. It is corrosion-resistant and conducts heat very well. Hence, aluminum pans heat up very fast.

Aluminum dosa tawas are not very expensive and you will find a number of options available too. However, before buying an aluminum dosa tawa, make sure that the pan is well coated otherwise the dosa will stick to the hot pan.

One of the disadvantages of aluminum dosa tawas is they are very fragile when compared to cast iron dosa tawas. Hence, you should be a bit careful while washing the pan as they are more susceptible to dents or scratches.

  • Anodized Aluminum:

Anodizing is a process where aluminum is dipped in an electrolyte bath. It is then run through an electric current via metal to protect the cookware from corrosion. This process results in a dark gray surface which is non-corrosive and hard. Anodized aluminum is a good conductor of heat. This extra coating makes it non-stick too.

2. Size or Diameter:

Size or Diameter

You will find dosa tawas in various sizes in the market. The size usually ranges between 8 inches to 16 inches. The ideal size of a dosa tawa is about 13 inches (in diameter). A dosa tawa should be completely flat. It should be thick so that the pan is sufficient enough to retain heat for a long time. You should prefer buying a pan that does not have a rim.

You can finalize the size of the dosa tawa as per your preference. If you know how to make dosas already, you can go ahead and buy a large pan. However, if you are trying to learn the process of making dosas, we suggest you to buy a small or mid-sized pan only.

3. Thickness:

Thickness

The base of the tawa should be thick so that there is an even and equal distribution of heat. Thicker pans have better heat conducting properties. Such pans allow you to make perfect and crisp dosas.

A tawa with a thick base prevents the pan from heating up quickly. This prevents the dosas from burning. Hence, the base of the pan must be either thick or it should have a spiral at the bottom. It promotes a quicker heating and cooking experience.

4. Non-stick Options:

Most of the dosa tawas these days come with a non-stick coating. Even though these coated pans are a bit expensive, they prevent the batter from sticking to the pan. Hence, if you are a beginner, making dosas in a non-stick pan will be easier for you.

Non-stick pans are quite easy to clean as dosa does not stick on the pan at all. Apart from this, non-stick pans require very less oil while cooking and thus, promote a healthy way of cooking.

If you are planning to buy a non-stick dosa tawa, you should check for these pointers:

Non-stick Options

  • Coating:

The coating of a non-stick pan is usually done in multiple layers. You can buy a dosa tawa with a minimum of 2-3 layers. These many coatings are sufficient enough to provide a good non-stick experience. You can figure this out by simply touching the tawa. With 2-3 layers of coating, the pan is smooth and soft to touch.

  • PFOA Free:

PFOA i.e. polytetrafluoroethylene is a man-made chemical that is used to provide non-stickiness to any cookware. This chemical is harmful to human beings. Even though most of the manufacturers make PFOA-free non-stick pans, you should also check it beforehand to be 100% sure.

  • Check the non-stick finish:

You should check the non-stick finish of the tawa properly before buying the pan. A good non-stick finish is very helpful in making smooth and even dosas.

If you notice that the non-stick coating is not smooth and even, you should avoid buying such tawas to avoid issues in the long run.

5. Shape:

Avoid buying dosa tawas that are concave in shape. Flat tawas help in cooking the dosas evenly and are helpful in maintaining the shape.

Flat tawas are either square or round-shaped. It is easier to make dosas on round tawas whereas making dosas in square tawas require some practice.

6. Handle:

The handle of a dosa tawa should be easy to hold. It should also have smooth edges so that the handle does not slip off while your hands are wet. The handle should be easy to use and must be heat resistant.

As cast iron dosa tawas are quite heavy, you must make sure that these pans have comfortable handles along with large helper handles on the other edge of the pan. Having two handles ensures the tawa is safe to hold while you are removing it from the pan. The handles should be sturdy too.

handle types

7. Induction Compatible:

Since most people have started using induction in their households, it can be beneficial for you to buy a tawa that can be used on induction cooktops too.

While some brands make induction compatible tawas, others don’t. If you use induction at your home, make sure that you check the label and buy the tawa accordingly.

8. Price:

You can buy a good dosa tawa at a price range of Rs. 1,500 – Rs. 3,500. Induction compatible tawas are a bit costlier than the regular dosa tawas.

9. Warranty:

Buying a tawa pan with a warranty is very helpful in case of a faulty product. Many brands offer free replacement too. You should check the warranty of a dosa tawa as it has an impact on the after-sale service of the pan too.

How to Keep the Non-Stick Coating of the Pan Intact?

Here are a few tips that can help you in maintaining the non-stick coating of the aluminum tawas:

  • Never use the tawa on high heat as it can swell up in the middle distorting the shape of the tawa.
  • Don’t use metal scrubbers while cleaning the pan as it can scrub off the non-stick coating. You should use a soft sponge to clean the pan. This will prevent any damage caused to the coating.
  • Avoid using metal spoons or sharp objects like fork or knives with sharp edges to prevent scraping off the coating. It is advisable to use wooden spatulas while making dosas. This will prevent scratching of the non-stick coating and makes sure that the coating lasts for a very long time.
  • Let the pan cool down completely before putting it for a wash. Sudden changes in temperature can lead to warping of the pan.

Frequently asked questions 

1. How can you prevent dosas from sticking to the tawa?

If you are already using a non-stick tawa, you might not face the issue of sticking at all. However, if you are still facing this issue, there is a very simple way of preventing it.
Before you start making the dosa, heat the tawa for a while on medium flame. Now, sprinkle some water and let this water evaporate completely. Now add 2-3 drops of edible or cooking oil. Cut onions into two halves. Rub the tawa with one half of the onion. You can now start making perfect dosas.

2. Can I use dosa tawa to make rotis or chapatis?

Yes, you can make roti or chapattis on a dosa tawa. You can even stir-fry veggies on these tawas.

3. How shall I clean the iron dosa tawa?

It hardly takes any time to clean iron dosa tawa. All you have to do is remove the food particles that are stuck to it. You can do it without using soap too.
After you are done washing the tawa, place it on the stove for a minute or at least till the time the water evaporates completely.
Once the tawa is dry, let it cool down completely and then wipe it off with a clean cloth. Apply a thin coating of oil on all the sides of the iron tawa and the tawa is completely clean.

4. Is using an anodized dosa tawa harmful for health?

Not at all! An anodized tawa prevents the dosa or any other food item from coming in direct contact with the metal. Even health professionals agree to the fact that using anodized cookware is not harmful to your health.

5. Is granite a safe material for making a dosa tawa?

A dosa tawa that is coated with granite does not emit any toxic fumes and thus, it is a good material. However, the granite that is used should be in good condition.

6. Are non-stick dosa tawas safe to use?

There have been debates on the safety features of using a non-stick pan for a long time as many people believe that these coatings can cause cancer. However, if the pans are used properly, they are completely safe to use. You must avoid overheating the pan at any cost. Due to overheating, the coating of the pan can start breaking down. This is when the pan can start releasing toxic gases or elements.

7. When should you replace non-stick dosa tawa?

The average lifespan of a dosa tawa is around 3 to 5 years. But, if your pan has already damaged (either due to scratches or chipping), you must stop using it right away and consider replacing the pan.
The non-stick coating is temporary and it usually starts breaking down after 2-3 years, if not used properly. Hence, as soon as you notice that the coating has started scratching off, you must replace the pan immediately.

8. What do you call “tawa” in English?

Tawa is generally a flat and either concave or convex and disc-shaped pan that is made using metal. Even though there is no exact word for tawa in English, some people refer to it as a frying pan. However, tawa is used mostly for making rotis, parathas, or dosas and not for frying vegetables.

9. What is the best way to season a cast iron dosa tawa?

Before using a cast iron tawa, you must make sure that the pan is seasoned properly. It is also important to season the tawa at regular intervals. Here is how you can season the tawa easily:

  • Wash the tawa properly using dishwashing soap and dry it with a clean cloth to avoid rust. Pour some oil on the pan.
  • You can use any oil for this purpose.
  • Spread the oil evenly (and generously) across the pan (including the handles) using a kitchen towel.
  • After applying the oil, take a tissue and rub it across the pan.
  • Now place the tawa over the flame and let it heat.
  • Put some more oil and rub it evenly.
  • Heat the tawa until you notice the smoke coming out of it.
  • Reduce the flame to low and add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and spread it.
  • Continue heating the pan for around 10-15 minutes.
  • Switch off the flame and let it cool.
  • Repeat the same process 2-3 times.
    Note: Make sure you open the windows and turn on the exhaust fan as it can become very smoky in the kitchen.
10. Are cast iron Tawas safe to use? 

Yes cast iron Tawas are very safe to use. Just make sure that the Tawa you are using is pre-seasoned with natural oils and certain manufacturers recommend seasoning it more times. You will also have one more drawback that is its heavyweight and if the heavyweight doesn’t concern or affect you then cast irons are the best Tawas you can have. These are also known as the traditional Tawa which people have been used since ages. 

11. All Tawas are induction safe? 

Well, all Tawas are not induction safe. There are certain Tawas which come with an induction safe option and you can buy the one. To find out which Tawa is induction safe, you can check the manufacturer’s details or even the details mentioned on the site which you will be buying it from and find out whether the Tawa can be used in an induction or not. 

12. What are these non-stick layers on the Tawa? 

Non-stick layers are done to provide better coating so that your food doesn’t stick to the Tawa. It also helps you in cooking the food with less oil so in that case you will safe from the intake of more calories. Also, always look for a non-stick Tawa which is free from any kind of chemicals so that you can precisely use it without getting worried about the health. Secondly, the more the layers are, the more non-sticker and less oil will be used.

13. What is the procedure of cleaning a non-stick Tawa? 

It is very easy to clean a non-stick Tawa and you can do it within minutes or seconds. Just use less soap or water to clean it so that the quality remain intact and mostly, people clean these non-stick Tawas once in every two uses as it comes with a coating which can protect more oil usage. 

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