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Title: Tava  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Roti, Punjabi cuisine, Khash (dish), Akki rotti, Markook
Collection: Central Asian Cuisine, Cooking Utensils, Middle Eastern Cuisine, Pakistani Food Preparation Utensils, Pancakes, South Asian Cuisine
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Indian Tawa

A tava(h), tawa(h), teghna(h), tabbakhe(y), tapa, saj, or sac is a large, flat or concave or convex disc-shaped frying pan (dripping pan) made from metal, usually sheet iron, cast iron, sheet steel or aluminium. It is used in South, Central, and West Asia, as well as in Caucasus, for cooking a variety of flatbreads and as a frying pan for meat. It also sometimes refers to ceramic frying pan.

In West Asia, tava/saj are invariably convex, while in South Asia, both flat and concave versions are found.


  • Etymology 1
  • Uses 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • Sources 5


In nearly all Turkic name saj (lit. sheet-metal and written saç or sac in Turkish and ṣāj (صاج) in Arabic)[3][4] is used in Southwest Asia, with overlap in Pakistan and Afghanistan.[5] The word tava is also used in Turkish and Croatian, and refers to any kind of frying pan. In Bulgaria, flat ceramic сач or сачѐ (sach/sache) are used for table-top cooking of thin slices of vegetables and meat; тава (tava), on the other hand, are metal baking dishes with sides.In Pashto it is more popularly known as Tabakhey (تبخے/طبخی).


A tava or saj is used to cook a variety of leavened and unleavened flatbreads and crepes across the broad region: Pita, Naan, saj bread, roti, chapati, paratha, chaap, Pav Bhaji, chaat, dosa, and pesarattu.

In Pakistan, especially in rural areas, large convex saj are used to cook several breads at a same time or to make rumali roti.

Meat is often cooked on a saj. The traditional Georgian chicken tapaka is cooked on a tapa.

In South Asia, tavas are also used to fry foods called tava fry, taka tak bhaji, tawa bhaji, tawa masala, etc.

See also

  • Sač, a cooking utensil used in the Balkans with a saj-shaped lid
  • Mongolian barbecue, a Taiwanese grill dish sometimes using a saj-like frying pan.
  • Comal (cookware), a similar utensil in Mexican cuisine


  1. ^
  2. ^ F. Steingass, A Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary, 1930, p.277
  3. ^ Maxime Rodinson, et al., Medieval Arab cookery, 2001, p. 154
  4. ^ Hans Wehr, Dictionary of Modern Writtern Arabic, 1966, p.499
  5. ^ Suad Joseph, Afsaneh Najmabadi, Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures: Family, body, sexuality and health, 2005, p. 109


  • "Your Desi (Indian) Kitchen on the Net". Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  • "Pots, Pans, and Griddles". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  • A Fork on the Road" - Miami Herald online""". Retrieved February 21, 2008. 
  • Saj Femmes" - Blog: Land and People""". Retrieved February 21, 2008. 
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