Having the best tawa for dosa is essential in every Indian kitchen for healthy cooking. You already know the benefits of eating this nutritious south Indian dish, and you can easily prepare it at home using the right pan. So, which tawa is best for dosa – a non-stick or cast iron one? You’ll get to know soon!
The aroma of freshly cooked dosa getting prepared that sparks out while you’re sitting in a south Indian café is magical, isn’t it?
A dosa has a charm of its own with its crispiness filled with mashed potatoes and how artistically shaped it is. Many people feel that it is a crepe, but it is not. While a crepe is made up of flour and other sweet varieties, while a dosa comprises of black gram, rice and all varieties added are savoury.
Okay! That’s quite a bit of information, makes me hungry already. Nevertheless, let’s get to the main point.
In this article, I’ll be talking about the differences between cast iron and non-stick pan and also five best tawa for dosa in India comprising of (non-stick & cast Iron) altogether. Let’s go!
Non stick dosa tawa vs cast iron dosa tawa: which is better?
This question has been as cloudy as the weather of a hill station for many. Cast iron tawa was the original non-sticky tawa of the old era. A well seasoned cast iron tawa has a coating that is naturally formed, while non-stick tawa has been in use since the time of 20th Century.
Let’s break down some of the differences and benefits between both of them.
Non-stick tawas are phenomenal when you start using them in the beginning, but eventually, the performance goes a notch lower with time. It does have a short life as compared to cast iron.
The same can’t be said about a cast iron tawa, as time passes by, it gets better to use. If seasoned in an ideal way, a cast-iron tawa will let you make a dosa even with about half a teaspoon of oil.
While a non-stick tawa can be advanced in technology as compared to cast iron, but it does have numerous restrictions that can be hard to maintain. Some of them are as follows:
- Don’t clean it with a dishwasher as it may result in a detergent stack. Hand wash should be the only solitary option.
- Only lukewarm water is recommended to clean the Tawa.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaners as they may scratch and damage the surface.
On the other hand, cast iron tawa is quite easy to maintain. All you need to do is season it with oil in the most minimal way as this stop the Tawa from rusting and closing the open pores.
Cooking in your non-stick tawa can result in health issues. You know, why? Non-stick tawa comprises of Teflon coating (Polytetrafluoroethylene) and after using it for a while it wears off and ends up getting mixed with your food.
Surely non-stick tawa’s are efficient enough to provide quality dosa for you, but it can have ill effects on your health later on. Similarly, cast iron tawa might be old school, but it is safe for your health and it will provide you with a better quality of dosa you were looking for.
Purchasing a non-stick tawa would an option for saving money as it is less expensive as compared to a cast iron tawa. But hey, that is just one side of the coin. You may have to replace your non-stick tawa at regular intervals, which isn’t the case with a cast iron tawa.
So, the question arises as to which is the best? Non-stick tawa might be technologically advanced but it does have drawbacks, and even a cast iron pan has certain cons too. But, a cast iron tawa provides more benefits to you as compared to a non-stick tawa.
You are wise enough to know now which one you should go ahead with.
5 best cast iron and non-stick dosa tawa in India
1. Rock Tawa Dosa Tawa (Cast Iron Skillet)
This is a cast iron tawa from the brand of Rock Tawa and it is 12 inches in size. If you’re on the lookout for the best cast iron dosa tawa in India or an iron dosa pan, this surely tops the list. This tawa is induction and gas-friendly and lets you prepare healthy dosa at home.
Additionally, the thickness of the body is around 42 mm and it is pre-seasoned with sunflower oil. Rock Tawa Dosa Tawa is a splendid choice for keeping a check on butter and oil. Since it is made of cast iron it is chemical-free. It does increase the iron content in the food you cook and keeps you healthy.
The best thing about cast iron pan is that it absorbs the oil and cooks the food uniformly without burning it. So, you can prepare perfect thin and crispy dosa using this pan. Design wise, it has slim edges which makes it easy to flip the dosa while cooking. The two handles provide great convenience too.
There are no hassles in maintaining this tawa as it is easy to clean and requires low maintenance. It is built to last longer without tears and cracks. Not just dosa, you can use it to make other food items such as roti or omelette.
(The product is available in different sizes as well. Pick according to your needs.)
2. Bhagya Cast Iron Cookware Pre-Seasoned Dosa Tawa
As the name “pre-seasoned” suggests, Bhagya Cast Iron Cookware Dosa Tawa comes in with pre-seasoning. So, you won’t have to take the trouble of seasoning it all by yourself. Moreover, no chemicals are used by the brand in seasoning to keep it natural. It might be pre-seasoned with gingelly oil, but it is still recommended to do the seasoning by yourself before you use it for the very first time.
This tawa is 12 inches in diameter to offer you quality dosa but it does have other variants as well. For commercial use, you can pick the 14″ one. Since it is a cast iron tawa, your iron intake increases when your dosa is being cooked on this cast iron dosa pan.
At around 2.6kg (12″), the iron pan is neither heavy nor light and provides better heat retention than the best stainless steel cookware. This makes it perfect for pan-frying and roasting too. With the flat bottom, it is designed for using both on gas and electric.
3. Hawkins Futura Non-Stick Dosa Tawa
Third, in this list is the Hawkins Futura Non-Stick Dosa Tawa with a thickness of 4.88 mm and 33 cm in terms of size (available in other sizes as well). This dosa tawa can cook other food items too, such as uttapam and alu tikki. It has a pretty classy design with stainless steel rivets made in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the cooking surface.
This means you will be provided a larger cooking area to make dosa’s of a bigger size. It does retain heat well and provides fast heat conduction for better performance.
The dosa tava consists of a hard-anodized base for fast conduction of heat. Since non-stick pan’s tend to have a Teflon coating that later on gets mixed with your food, this non-stick dosa pan has its coating locked deep into the base for long-lasting durability. To reduce the usage of oil, a high-quality non-stick coating has been applied.
The pan is smartly designed with perfect curve and thickness for making your favourite crispy masala dosa. There is one disadvantage though. You can’t use it on an induction cooktop.
To put up, I will say it’s the best non stick dosa tawa in India right now.
4. Prestige Omega Deluxe Nonstick Aluminium Granite Dosa Tawa
Having a good cooking experience on a tava matters a lot, and this is the reason why this product made the cut in my best non-stick dosa tawa list. Your mind will be rattled to know that this isn’t your ordinary non-stick dosa tawa and the reason why I’m saying this is because it can easily last 3 times longer than your average non-stick pan. Also, this pan can be used in induction cook-tops and gas stoves as well.
This granite cookware from Prestige packs a punch with its performance and it is surely unique as compared to its other counterparts. As a non-stick pan, it offers a whole lot of features that aren’t available on other non-stick ones.
The myth has been busted that non-stick pans can’t be washed with a dishwasher. This super cool tava goes a notch higher by breaking the myth and it can easily be kept clean with a dishwasher.
The coating is of a granite finish that provides scratch resistance and long-lasting durability. With the new 5 layer non-stick technology, it keeps the new look for a much longer time and it also saves itself from metal spoon scratch.
Talk about being an all-rounder, this pan is versatile in its way. It lets you prepare food on induction cook-tops and gas too, thanks to the base of the pan.
(Available in three sizes)
5. Urbanhouse Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dosa Tawa
The final one in this list is the Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dosa Tawa from Urbanhouse. It genuinely is a stylish-looking dosa pan weighing around 3 kg and 12 inches in terms of size. It is mostly circular in size and you get two side handles for your comfort and make crispy buttery dosa of your choice and impress your family.
This tawa is completely chemical-free and also what is worth noting is that the tawa has a heavy base for distributing heat evenly.
If you want an iron dosa tawa with the least maintenance with a powerful performance, this one is for you. Why am I saying this? All you need to do is just wash it with water and clean it with a dry cloth as the pan is built in such a way that it doesn’t get rusted easily.
Takes less amount of cooking gas, which is such a boon. As it is made up of cast iron, it does absorb the heat from every corner of the tava. Talk about being an intelligent dosa tawa!
There are no chemicals applied in the iron dosa pan but vegetable oil and seasoning technique to provide you with a long-lasting performance. Overall, it’s one of the best cast iron dosa tawa out there.
How to select the best tawa for dosa
There are multiple things that you need to look for while getting a new dosa tawa for yourself. You might be attracted with the look of, (we all do) but it is wise to know certain things about your dosa tawa before going ahead with the purchase.
Let me list down some of them:
1. Flat surface with thick base
Having a flat surface is essential for any dosa tawa as it has a lot of benefits clustered with it. A flat surface of a dosa pan will make life easier to spread the dosa batter and produce a crispy feel to it. Also, having a thick base helps in the even distribution of heat from all corners of the dosa pan.
Mostly the thickness can range from 4-5 mm and that is an ideal size.
Wait, this doesn’t mean you will go out looking for the thickest one. That would not work as the thicker it gets, the more time your beloved non-stick dosa tawa or iron tawa for dosa will take to make it for you. So, keep that range in a balance in terms of the thickness of the base.
2. Size (cooking area)
Whether you are searching for the a non-stick dosa tawa or cast iron dosa tawa, the size will matter. You do know that making a dosa requires space in the cooking area, and it would be unfair that the size of the pan is small and you’ve been pushed to make miniature pieces of dosa.
That would be a terrible sight to see for anyone who would want to have a chunk of dosa.
It is recommended that the size should be ideal in which you can produce large lip-smacking dosa’s. For that to happen, you need to choose a pan between the size of 10-20 inches, which will give you enough space in the form of the Dosa pan to produce bigger and tastier dosa’s.
Coatings play an imperative role while selecting a dosa pan. Non-stick coatings are mostly made up of Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene), which won’t let food won’t stick to the pan, but it has downsides as well. After using it for a good enough time, the coating of Teflon tends to get mixed with your food and that can prove to be dangerous for your health.
Cast iron tawa has a natural non-stick coating and has better longevity. It also provides a certain amount of iron to your body when you consume food from making it in the pan.
Tawa’s that are made up of Aluminium tend to be lightweight and easy to use. It might be a good pick but it has issues when cooking acidic food. But, don’t worry about making dosa on an Aluminium tawa, it works fine.
On the other hand, Anodized aluminium dosa pan can be a great choice too as it is considered to be a semi-hybrid non-stick pan. Cast iron pans seem to be the best out of the lot as it has a good life span and provides you with a better cooking experience.
Lastly, Granite pans are equally an excellent choice and can be a potential substitute to your Teflon non-stick pan as it is much safer and also does not let food stick to the surface.
For extra convenience while cooking, choose a tava with heatproof handle. A pan with heat-resistant handle is easier to use and you can hold it for long. Also, if you are getting a large and heavy iron dosa tawa, you may need the one with double handles as you can’t hold the heavy cookware comfortably using a single handle. Regarding the material, wood handle provides a stronger grip and also it does not conduct any heat.
6. Cooktop compatibility
If you use only induction stove in your kitchen, look for a dosa pan that has a flat base and that is compatible to electric cooktop. Most of the cast iron or non-stick dosa tawa in India are both induction and gas stove friendly. The flat base provides uniform heating for consistent cooking on the induction cooktop – without burning the dosa.
VOILA! I’m done with all the information that you needed between the battle of cast iron tawa and non-stick tawa for dosa. As I’ve mentioned above, both of them have their unique abilities with a few pros and cons added. But, somewhere down the line, the quintessential cast iron tawa comes out as a winner for me due to many reasons. That does not mean that a non-stick tawa isn’t ideal for making dosa, you still can.
Also, I did list out the best non-stick and cast iron dosa tawa in India that you can give a shot.