Indian food is quickly rising to the top of the international culinary popularity charts thanks to its abundance of fresh ingredients, fragrant spices, and enticing scents. A Kadai deep frying pan is an essential tool for any home cook who has even dabbled in Indian cuisine, let alone one who considers themselves an expert chef.
Finally, I need to know: which Kadai is ideal for Indian cuisine? Kadai pans are ideal for deep-frying and boiling heavy curries because of their smooth, flat bottoms and steep, sloped edges. Because these pans are so deep, even heat distribution is critical, so it’s crucial to pick one that’s big enough for your needs without being too heavy to move.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to seven of the most effective and practical Kadai pans for Indian cooking, as well as address some of the most often asked concerns about Kadai, to help you make an informed decision.
What is a Kadai Pan?
A Kadai pan, often spelled kadhai or karahi, is a flat-bottomed, deep-sided pan similar in design to a wok but with a larger bottom surface area and steeper sides.
It has long been a staple in the kitchens of South Asian countries, particularly India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal.
What Is A Kadai Pan Used For?
Kadai pans have high, straight sides that are ideal for deep frying anything from meat and fish to veggies and even desserts.
Hearty stew-like dishes, such as traditional Indian curries or chicken karahi (called for the pan it’s cooked in), are also well-suited to these deep-sided pans.
How to Choose the Best Kadai for Indian Cooking
Finding the best Kadai for your culinary needs requires thinking about a few basic factors.
When preparing Indian cuisine, the size of the pan you use is crucial, so you should think about how many people you usually feed.
Choose a material that works well with your stove and cooking methods. The bottoms of some kadais are made of copper, while others are constructed of non-stick aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, or even glass.
Non-stick finishes are a fantastic lightweight alternative that is very easy to use for most home cooks, provided that you are very careful with your pans and are willing to use only wooden or silicone utensils.
The safety of non-stick coatings has been called into doubt, although they pose no threat unless you scrape them off and ingest them.
In addition to being long-lasting, secure, and lightweight, stainless steel is a popular material choice.
Stainless steel can take some getting used to if you’re used to cooking on non-stick surfaces, but it’s ideal for Indian food because of the heavy use of oil and rich sauces.
Cast iron is another possibility; it will set you back a little more up front, but it will last a lifetime (or longer) with proper maintenance.
Cast iron is versatile and may be used with any heating method; it evenly distributes heat from the bottom to the top of the pan’s steeply slanted walls.
Cast-iron pans, especially those of the size typically required for a Kadai, have only one drawback: they are very heavy. Adding a lot of curry to an already heavy pan will make it difficult to move the pan around the kitchen.
7 Best Kadai Pans
Hawkins Futura Non-Stick Kadhai Deep-Fry Pan
The Hawkins Futura Kadhai is an exceptionally sturdy and well-made piece of furniture.
It has a hard-anodized surface and is decorated with a patented non-stick coating, making it last longer than competing products.
Handles on each size are secured with four rivets, making it possible to lift even very full pots without strain.
- Can hold up to 2.5 liters (4L option)
- Equipped with a wooden spoon and a certified scrubber
- Includes tried-and-true recipes in the accompanying manual
The lack of a cover is the kadhai’s biggest flaw, especially given its generally high quality and longevity. Simmering sauces require a lid to prevent splatters while cooking.
Prestige Aluminium Omega Deluxe Granite Kadhai, 26cm, Black
Prestige is committed to preserving their position as India’s leading manufacturer of kitchen appliances by remaining at the forefront of technological developments and guaranteeing that each and every one of their offerings is of the highest quality.
Because they are an Indian firm, you know that their Kadai is perfect for whipping up authentic Indian cuisine.
- Holds 3.25 liters
- Superior granite-like non-stick coating that will last a long time.
- Included glass lid lets you keep an eye on things while they’re cooking.
The biggest drawback is that despite the manufacturer’s assertion that this kadhai is dishwasher-safe, doing so is likely to damage the finish far more quickly than hand washing with mild soap and no scrubbers or abrasive cleaning tools would.
Futura Induction Compatible Hard Anodized Flat Bottom Deep Fry Pan
This Kadhai is Hawkins Futura’s second offering, and it improves upon the first in several ways. For one, it can be used on an induction burner, and unlike the first listing, it also comes with a cover.
However, since it’s a bigger pan, it can get heavier and trickier to manage, but you can also place more food within, so it all depends on your cooking needs.
- Capacity: 3.75 liters (available in alternative sizes from 2.5 L – 7L)
- It can be used with gas, electric, or induction ranges.
- It has a stainless steel cover.
The biggest drawback is that metal ladles can scratch the non-stick coating, despite the manufacturer’s assurances to the contrary. Regardless of what the manufacturer says, we advise using wooden or silicone utensils whenever cooking on a non-stick surface.
Uno Casa Cast Iron Wok Pan – 8 lb. Flat Bottom Wok with Silicone Lid – 12 Inch
A robust, large-capacity, pre-seasoned cast-iron wok pan that improves with use has been produced by Uno Casa.
It’s suitable for use over an open fire or on any standard stove. Despite its name, this pan is better suited for Kadai-style Indian cooking than typical Asian woks because of its flat, broad bottom.
- 5.20 quarts
- Featuring a glass cover with a silicone gasket, this is the ideal container.
- Including a free cookbook
Cast iron is heavy and requires frequent care and use to prevent corrosion, which is the material’s biggest drawback. Not the most user-friendly pan, but a fantastic investment if you enjoy cooking with cast iron.
Hawkins Triply 3 mm Stainless Steel Deep Fry Pan 2.5 LTR with Lid
Hawkins made this deep fry pan, but it’s not part of their Futura line.
When it comes to pressure cookers and other types of cookware, few names are as trusted as Hawkins.
Their commitment to innovation and pursuit of product improvement is evident in the fact that they offer three separate pans that would be excellent additions to this set.
- Holds 2.5 liters
- Extra-thick 18/8 magnetic stainless steel construction ensures even heating across all stovetops, even induction.
- Protective glass top and elegant Rosewood grips included.
One major drawback is that stainless steel needs a lot of liquid or oil to prevent sticking. While the heavy sauces common to Indian cooking should pose no problems for this deep fry pan, a conventional Asian stir-fry may require more oil than would be necessary in a non-stick or cast-iron skillet.
Vinod Hard Anodized Kadai with Stainless Steel Lid, 1.6-Liter
Vinod was founded in Mumbai, India, and is a manufacturer of cookware.
They’ve clearly put a lot of thought into what makes a good kadhai for Indian cuisine, since it’s both well-designed and simple to use.
- Storage Space: 1.6 Liters (7 L option)
- Long-lasting hard anodized, non-stick coating
- Provided with a secure plastic grip and a stainless steel top.
The size of this product is both its greatest strength and greatest weakness. This Kadai is the smallest on our list, making it ideal for homes with a small serving size (one or two people), but a major pain if you need to cook for a large party or in bulk.
IMUSA USA Stainless Steel With Copper Kadhai
The IMUSA South Asian collection includes this stunning copper-bottomed stainless steel kadhai, ideal for Indian and other similar South Asian cuisines.
We think it’s fantastic that IMUSA is one of the top housewares companies in the world, and that their commitment to culturally appropriate cooking methods is so admirable.
- The lowest point is 9 inches.
- Simple to manipulate and minimal in weight
- Fast and even heating is achieved with copper bottom cookware.
The thin copper bottom helps keep the pan light and quick to cook, but it also has the potential to heat too quickly, accidentally scorching your food. Since it is so flimsy, it is also more easily bent or dented. Careful and mindful use makes this pan one of the easiest to handle and most aesthetically pleasing options.
What is Kadai paneer?
Peppers and paneer, a fresh Indian cheese, are cooked in a spicy masala sauce to make a classic Indian meal called paneer. Kadai paneer gets its name from the traditional method of cooking it in which a Kadai is used.
The pot or pan in which an Indian dish is prepared sometimes provides the name of the dish. When an Indian recipe calls for a particular sauce, such as a “Kadai,” you should use a wide, deep-sided pan to ensure the sauce evenly coats the food.
How do I clean my metal wok or Kadai?
Despite its strength and light weight, aluminum typically develops a black deposit that is tough to remove if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Based on how stubborn the burned-on residue is, you can attempt one of these methods:
To begin, remove any fat or readily removed stuck-on food pieces by washing the pan with dish soap and warm water.
Try boiling some water in the pan and using a flat wooden spoon to scrape off the stuck-on food while the water is hot to remove any light residue.
Turn off the heat and let the water cool a little if scraping it with boiling water doesn’t remove the accumulation.
For every quart of water in your pot, put in 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. It is expected that the acidic solution will aid in bleaching the aluminum and breaking down any baked-on residue.
Return to using the wooden spatula to try to loosen the last residue. Use a dish scrubber once the water has cooled, but don’t use steel wool, which can scratch the pan’s surface.
How to clean iron Kadai?
It’s best to use warm water only while washing cast iron. Soap is not necessary while working with cast iron, but a well-seasoned iron Kadai is essential.
The Kadai should be washed in warm water as soon as it is cool enough to touch, assuming there is no rust.
When washing or drying your pan, never use a towel with a light color since the oil or residue in the pan could transfer onto the towel.
Also, the yellow color of turmeric might potentially stain clothing or other surfaces if you’ve used it in a curry. An improved and more efficient option is to use a dish sponge for cleaning.
Once the pan has been washed and dried, add a few drops of oil and use a paper towel to spread the oil about the pan so that it covers all of the inside surfaces.
While in storage, the rust won’t be able to form as much because of this. When you’re done washing the pan, you should dry it completely as quickly as you can. You can either use a power towel or dry the pan by heating it on the burner.