Nothing can kill the pace of the morning rush more than dosas stuck to the Tawa. No matter what you do, how much ever you try to scrape the Dosa using a spatula, it still doesn’t budge. Relatable? If you use a nonstick Tawa, you may be able to overcome this. But, then you will never be able to recreate those crispy mouthwatering Dosas you eat from your favourite restaurant.
The key to making delicious dosa lies in the batter and the Tawa. You can buy Tawas in three materials mainly- nonstick, which is a nonstick coating on an aluminium base, iron and cast iron.
Nonstick Tawa offers convenience unlike any other. You don’t have to worry about the batter sticking to the Tawa, there is no maintenance, it is lightweight and is quite easy to use. But when it comes to the taste and texture of dosa, they don’t fare anywhere close to their traditional counterparts. Also, nonstick coated pans shouldn’t be overheated as they could emit toxic fumes.
Iron Tawa is made by beating a sheet of iron. They are thinner and weigh less than cast iron. Its heat retention is less than cast iron. Being thinner, if you are not careful enough, there is a higher chance of food burning. In terms of taste and texture, iron and cast iron are almost equal. Just like cast iron, iron cookware also needs to be seasoned.
Cast iron is once again gaining immense popularity in Indian kitchens. They are made by pouring molten pig iron into moulds. So, their handles are moulded and not fixed using rivets. With proper care, they can be a family heirloom that you can pass through generations.
Dosa Tawa made of cast iron is heavier. They have excellent heat retention. However, compared to nonstick, cast iron and iron cookware require more maintenance. That being said, when you consider the taste and excellent texture of Dosas made in these traditional Tawas, it is totally worth the extra effort.
Related reading: How To Safely Use Nonstick Cookware
If you would like to watch the video review of the best Dosa Tawas, take a look here-
Which Are The Best Dosa Tawas In India?
|Hawkins Futura||28, 30, 33cm||Nonstick||4.5/5|
|Prestige Omega||25, 28, 30 cm||Nonstick||4/5|
|Pigeon||23, 26, 31 cm||Nonstick||3.75/5|
|Dynamic Cookware||11, 12.5 inch||Cast Iron||4.5/5|
|RockTawa||10.5, 12, 14 inch||Cast Iron||4/5|
|Indus Valley Supersmooth||11, 12 inch||Cast Iron||4.25/5|
|Bhagya||9, 9.5, 11, 12 inch||Cast Iron||3.75/5|
Our Recommendations of Best Dosa Tawa in India
If you are looking for a nonstick Dosa Tawa, we would highly recommend Hawkins Futura. It is well constructed, has a thick base and is heavy enough to distribute the heat uniformly. As the nonstick coating is applied on a hard-anodized aluminium base, you needn’t worry about aluminium leaching into your food even if the coating peels off. Moreover, Hawkins generally sell products that are durable.
If a cast iron Dosa Tawa is what you have in mind, we highly recommend Dynamic Cookware Cast Iron Dosa Tawa. It is well-built, cleverly designed with raised handles and the finishing is also quite superior. However, it is expensive compared to the other option. Being a one-time investment, it is worth the splurge.
If price is a concern, you could take a look at Rock Tawa Cast Iron Dosa Tawa. Though it has a grainy texture, it is fairly stick-resistant. But a drawback is that it is a bit difficult to manoeuvre due to its weight and poor handle design. If you are confident of seasoning the Tawa on your own, you could also buy unseasoned Tawas locally. It costs just a fraction. But, you will have to spend some time to season it correctly.
Table of Contents
- Our Recommendations of Best Dosa Tawa in India
- Cast iron or Nonstick- Which Tawa to choose?
- How To Choose Dosa Tawa?
- What To Do When Dosa Sticks To Cast Iron Tawa?
- How We Tested?
- Detailed Reviews of The Best Dosa Tawa in India
- Best Non-stick Dosa Tawas In India
- Best Cast Iron Dosa Tawas In India
Cast iron or Nonstick- Which Tawa to choose?
A friend once told, “Making dosa in a nonstick Tawa is a sacrilege.” And I agree to an extent. The taste and texture of a Dosa made in cast iron Tawa is incomparable. This is because cast iron has excellent heat retention and thus it cooks slower. So, nice deep searing and texture can be achieved- something that nonstick fails at miserably.
But, as you know, cast iron requires more maintenance. And sometimes, Dosa gets stuck to the Tawa. If you want an absolutely hassle-free experience and don’t mind compromising a bit on the texture, go for a nonstick Tawa. You could consider the Hawkins Futura Dosa Tawa. As it has a thicker base of 4.8mm ( others have just 2.5mm thickness), heat retention is comparatively better. But take care not to overheat the Tawa as it can emit carcinogenic fumes when the temperature exceeds 260 C (500F). In our tests, we have found that they can overheat in as less as 1.4 minutes.
Related reading: Common Cast Iron problems and Their Solutions
How To Choose Dosa Tawa?
We have already discussed the various materials in which Dosa Tawas are available online. Let us look at other aspects to consider while buying a Dosa Tawa.
Dosa Tawa for domestic kitchens is available in sizes ranging from 9 to 12 inches ( 22.5 to 30 cm). The actual cooking surface would be 1 or 2 cm lesser than this. It is a personal preference whether to choose a smaller Tawa or a larger one.
However, when buying cast iron Tawa, this would mean a significant difference in weight too. A 10 inch Tawa would weigh around 2.5 Kg, while a 12 inch Tawa could weigh as much as 3.3 Kg. If you don’t want to exercise your arms everyday morning, something around 9-10 inches would be optimal.
Weight of Tawa
Heavier Tawas may be difficult to handle. But, they have better heat retention than lighter ones. This applies to cast iron as well as nonstick.
Lighter Tawas are obviously thinner and if you are not careful enough, dosa is more likely to burn in them. For this reason, we prefer to use cast iron Tawa instead of iron Tawa.
Out of the cast iron options we tried, Bhagya Dosa Tawa was the thinnest and lightest. But, out of the box, it wasn’t seasoned as well as the other options. On the other hand, the one from Dynamic Cookware was the heaviest. Its performance was also quite satisfactory.
Finish of Cast Iron Tawa
An often asked question is what is the difference between cheap and expensive cast iron cookware. The answer lies in its finish and thickness. Expensive Tawas have better finishing. Their surface is smoother, seasoning is durable and they have better stick resistance. They are also well-designed. Inexpensive ones have a grainy texture and it takes a while to season it properly.
Out of the options we tested, Indus Valley has machine polished cooking surface that is the smoothest. It is absolutely great for first-timers as the smooth finish resulted in better stick resistance. In fact, upon coating a thin layer of oil, it worked as well as a nonstick pan. But on the downside, it had a lot more carbon residue on the surface than other options.
Dynamic Cookware, though not machine polished, also has a smooth surface. It is also a great pick for first time cast iron users.
Rock Tawa, which is the most inexpensive on the list, on the other hand, had a grainy texture. But was thick and sufficiently heavy, resulting in better heat retention.
Dosa Tawas come with a flat base. This meant the bottom of the handles lays flat against the surface where it is kept. So, it wasn’t that easy to pick them up from the cabinet, especially with heavier Tawas like the one from Rock Tawa and Indus Valley. You may have to either keep a cloth underneath or stack it vertically so that you can pick it up easily.
Dynamic Cookware on the other hand had raised handles which was very ergonomic and made it way easier to manoeuvre.
Nonstick Tawas have handles attached with rivets. The rivets of Hawkins had stainless steel finish while the rest had a nonstick coating. We liked the Hawkins better because the coating on the rivets usually peels off very quickly. So, leaving it without coating was a smart thing to do.
Related reading: Best Cast Iron Cookware In India
What To Do When Dosa Sticks To Cast Iron Tawa?
One of the main reasons why many people avoid cast iron Tawa is that Dosa gets stuck on it. And yes, it could be a real deal-breaker when you are not able to quickly dish out Dosas on a busy morning. But anyone who has been using cast iron for a while will say that the solution is simple.
First of all, let us understand the cause. This happens because the seasoning has worn off. It is not a fault with the Tawa or its construction.
To prevent dosa from getting stuck to the Tawa, simply apply a coat of oil and heat it on a low flame for 5-10 minutes. Our in-house chef, Divya usually does this first and then sets out to make chutney. So, by the time the chutney is ready, the Tawa would have developed a layer of seasoning. This is a fairly foolproof method that Divya swears by.
Also, preheating is necessary so that the dosa doesn’t get burnt in the middle and uncooked along the edges. But take care not to overheat it because you won’t be able to spread the batter properly. In such cases, sprinkle some water to cool down the Tawa.
Some people recommend frying onion or rubbing oil with onion on the Tawa. But, using onions is not an absolute necessity. The science behind seasoning is that when oil reaches the smoking point, it polymerizes with iron and forms a stick-resistant layer also known as patina. Using onion can impart a nice flavour to the first dosa you make on the Tawa. But otherwise, it doesn’t really aid in the seasoning process.
Our go-to tool for seasoning is a silicone oil bottle with a brush. It is extremely heat resistant and a handy tool for seasoning any cast iron cookware. Alternatively, you can make a potli from clean cotton cloth and use it to apply oil.
You can use any vegetable oil for seasoning. Ideally, it should have a low smoking point. Chefs in Western countries recommend using Canola oil. But, it is not commonly used in India. We use sunflower or Gingelly oil. Brands like Zishta recommend castor oil as well.
Also, remember to keep the Tawa on a medium-sized burner so that the heat is distributed as evenly as possible. Cast iron generally has hot spots and they don’t distribute heat evenly like 3 ply stainless steel. So, keeping Tawa on a medium-sized burner at a low-medium flame is necessary to ensure that it doesn’t get burnt in the centre. You can also check our in-depth article on the other reasons why dosa gets stuck to Tawa.
How We Tested?
Unlike other websites that recommend products based on product specifications and user reviews, we buy the products and test them to recommend the best.
From 15 best-selling Dosa Tawas, we shortlisted the best 7 and bought them. First, we checked the physical parameters like size, weight and thickness of the Tawas. With the cast iron ones, as they were all preseasoned, we checked how well they performed right out of the box. Except for one, all others were excellent in terms of stick resistance. Then, we made almost 50 Dosas on each Tawa to see how each fared in terms of their cooking performance, ease of handling and how well they were able to retain the seasoning.
Cast iron generally don’t heat uniformly. Even so, we checked them all to see the hotspots and heating uniformity to check if some fared better than the others. But all were pretty much equal. We spread a layer of flour on a preheated Tawa and heated it on a medium flame. There were hot spots at the centre and the edges remained relatively cool. That is why it is important to spread the batter thin along the edges.
With nonstick Tawas, we check for uniformity in heating and ease of use and cleaning. As expected, nonstick Tawas hardly had a hot spot. So, the Dosa you get is almost uniformly brown. But, it lacks texture.
We used the same batter and heated the Tawas to the same temperature to see how each Tawa retained the heat and how well the texture of the Dosa turned out.
All these Tawas can be used for making chapati, Paratha, Phulka etc. But avoid using one same Tawa for making Dosa and chapati because then, the Dosa will get stuck to the Tawa.
Detailed Reviews of The Best Dosa Tawa in India
Best Non-stick Dosa Tawas In India
Hawkins Futura Nonstick Dosa Tawa
|Heavy base for better heat retention||The texture of Dosa is not as good as cast iron.|
|Nonstick coating is over a hard-anodized base. |
So, no fear of aluminium leaching into food.
|Not compatible with induction stove|
|Well-designed with superior construction quality.|
Hawkins Futura Nonstick anodized Tawa was the heaviest among the nonstick Tawas we tested. It had a 4.8mm thickness and the 28-inch variant weighted 1.05 Kg. Most other options have just 2.5mm thickness.
Heavier Tawas are better as they offer better heat retention, resulting in deeper browning and crispier Dosas. The thicker base also means it is slower to heat up. On a high flame, it takes around 3 minutes to breach 260 degrees Celsius, while the Prestige and Pigeon nonstick Tawas with 2.5 mm thickness took just 1 minute 40 seconds. So, with Hawkins, you needn’t worry much about overheating the pan. (Nonstick pans when overheated above 260C emits carcinogenic fumes.)
The design is intelligent and the handles are designed in such a way that it is easy to use. The Tawa is slightly concave in shape. Hawkins use a German manufactured nonstick coating on a hard-anodized base. So even if in case the coating peels off, you needn’t worry about aluminium leaching into your food.
The handles are attached using stainless steel rivets that are uncoated. If you use nonstick pans, you know that the rivet heads are the first to lose their nonstick coating. So by avoiding the coating altogether on the rivets, you don’t have to worry about the coating peeling into your food.
The Dosas made on Hawkins nonstick Tawa has comparatively better browning and crispiness than other nonstick options. The browning is uniform. But the texture isn’t like what you get on a cast iron tawa.
Overall, it is quite a great pick for those who don’t wish to go through the hassle of maintaining a cast iron Tawa. Though durable, it definitely won’t outlive your cast iron Tawa. Even so, if you are not looking to change your Tawa every year, Hawkins Contura would be the best option.
The Tawa is available in three sizes- 28cm, 30 cm and 33cm.
Pigeon Nonstick Aluminium Flat Tawa
|Lightweight and easy to handle||Thin base results in quick overheating.|
|Hassle-free and easy to use.||Construction quality could have been better|
|Compatible with induction stove|
Pigeon is one of the cheapest Dosa Tawas available in the market. Just like most other nonstick cookware, it has a Teflon coating on an aluminium base. The built quality seems just about average. The pan has a glossy finish and the handles are ergonomically designed with finger grip. But, the Tawa we got already had a scratch on its cooking surface.
We bought the 27 cm variant and it weighed just 585 gm. The positive side of being lightweight is that it is very easy to handle. But on the flip side, the pan loses its durability quickly. In just about a year, the pan could warp. Another disadvantage is that it can overheat in no time. In our tests, we found that on a high flame, the pan touches 260 C ( 500F) in just 1.4 minutes, which is the temperature at which PTFE starts breaking down to emit carcinogenic fumes.
Being nonstick, you can make Dosa in Pigeon non-stick Tawa with ease. Though the Dosa browns fairly uniformly, you can’t achieve a deep browning typical to cast iron cookware.
Some users have reported concerns about durability. The Tawa is quite prone to warping and the nonstick coating lacked durability. Within just 2 days of use, the paint on the outer surface started peeling off. But given the inexpensive price, it is an option for budget-conscious folks.
The Tawa is available in two sizes- 27 cm and 31 cm.
Check price: Amazon
Prestige Omega Deluxe Granite Dosa Tawa
|Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre.||Thin base results in quick overheating.|
|Compatible with induction stove|
Similar to Pigeon, Prestige Omega Dosa Tawa is also a lightweight nonstick option available.
We bought the 25 cm variant and it weighed just 575 gm. It is just 2.5mm thick and the nonstick coating has a granite-like appearance with the spots. But, the finish is matte.
The handles are long enough and being lightweight, you can comfortably move the Tawa around. Being nonstick, they are quite easy to clean too.
Just like Pigeon, you can’t achieve a deep browning with nonstick Tawa without burning it. But even so, if the batter is good, you can have fairly decent Dosa with this Tawa.
In the past when I had used Prestige Dosa Tawa, I found that it warps very quickly. After a while the base wobbles. So, you may not be able to use it on an induction stove. However, its nonstick coating is more durable than Pigeon.
The variants of the Tawa are available in 25, 28 and 30 cm diameter.
Best Cast Iron Dosa Tawas In India
Indus Valley Super Smooth Cast Iron Dosa Tawa
|Smooth surface for better release of food.||The handle design is not ergonomic.|
|Well seasoned with excellent stick resistance||Has a lot of scratches on the edges and bottom.|
|Makes crispy Dosa with the right texture.|
Indus Valley is one of the few cast iron manufacturers that offer cookware with a polished cooking surface. Compared to other options, it is almost as smooth as a pure iron Tawa. However, the other areas like the edges and bottom of the Tawa had a lot of scratches and marks.
We bought the 27 cm variant and it weighed 2.55 Kg. Unlike other cast iron cookware which has a black finish, Indus Valley’s Super Smooth Cast Iron Tawa was slightly greyish in colour. Due to the polishing, the surface had more carbon residues compared to the other options. So, you need to wash the Tawa thoroughly and season it once again to remove the residues completely.
What we really loved about Indus Valley’s Super Smooth Tawa is that right out of the box, it is highly stick-resistant. If you apply a thin layer of oil, it is just like a Teflon coated nonstick Tawa. So, it is an ideal option for those who are new and apprehensive about using cast iron cookware.
The Tawa is fairly heavy and has just one handle. So, it is a tad difficult to carry and move around.
Coming to the cooking performance, the Indus Valley Tawa did a pretty good job making beautiful crisp Dosas. As it was almost nonsticky, the entire process was quite hassle-free.
The seasoning lasts despite washing several times in soapy water. You just have to apply oil and heat the Tawa on a low flame for a few minutes and you are good to go.
Being heavy, its heat retention is also quite good.
The Tawa is available in 27 cm and 30cm sizes. A variant is also available with long handles and it measures 26cm in diameter.
Dynamic Cookware Cast Iron Dosa Tawa
|Ergonomic handles that make it easy to move around||Comparatively expensive.|
|Excellent finishing and construction quality|
|Smooth surface that releases food easily.|
Though not machine polished, Dynamic Cookware had a smooth cooking surface that was close next to Indus Valley. We had the 28cm variant and it weighed about 3.26 Kg.
What we really loved about Dynamic Cookware is the superior design and construction quality. It looked quite elegant and did not have any scratches or such manufacturing defects which we found in Indus Valley and Rock Tawa. It however did have some carbon residue on the surface.
The handles are slightly raised from the base. So, it gives a better grip to pick up the heavy Tawa. Just like Indus Valley, Dynamic Cookware is also a great choice for first-time users as it comes preseasoned and the batter hardly sticks to the Tawa.
Making dosa on this Dynamic Cookware Tawa is absolutely hassle-free. It has fairly good heat retention capacity and the Dosa comes with perfect searing.
The seasoning on the Dynamic Cookware Tawa is solid. It doesn’t flake away even after repeated washes. If you follow the basic care instructions, this would definitely be a Tawa that could last a lifetime.
It is the most expensive option out of all the options we tested. Even so, we rate it as the best Dosa Tawa we tried owing to its excellent construction quality and thoughtful design.
The Tawa is available in 25 and 28cm and 30 cm sizes.
Check price: Amazon
Rock Tawa Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
|Fairly good construction quality.||Heavyweight and unergonomic handle make it difficult to manoeuvre.|
|Well seasoned and with excellent stick resistance.|
Rock Tawa offers one of the heaviest Dosa Tawas in the market. And it is the least expensive among the various options too. The 29 cm variant weighed 3.25 Kg.
The heaviness meant better heat retention. But a drawback was that it was quite hard to move around. If you place it flat on a kitchen cabinet, you will find it a tad difficult to pick it up because its handle lays flat against the surface and you can’t get grip it properly. You can overcome this by either stacking it vertically or keeping it on a thick mat.
Out of all the options, Rock Tawa had the roughest surface. It was quite grainy. But even so, thanks to the excellent seasoning, the Dosas never got stuck to the cooking surface. The grainy surface in fact imparted a nice texture to the Dosa which we absolutely loved.
This option from Rock Tawa is the cheapest preseasoned cast iron Tawa available in the market. Given the weight and excellent preseasoning, it is worth it. But it isn’t the easiest cast iron Tawa to manoeuvre.
The Tawa is available in 10.5, 12 and 14-inch sizes. It is also available in 12 inches size with a long handle.
Check price: Amazon
Bhagya Cast Iron Dosa Tawa
|Lightweight and easy to handle.||Was not as stick-resistant as other options. May need re-seasoning.|
|Once properly seasoned, makes excellent Dosa.|
Bhagya was the lightest cast iron Tawa among the options we tested. The 30 cm variant weighed just 2.6 Kg.
The Tawa comes with a moderately smooth surface. Though it was preseasoned, the first Dosa stuck badly to the Tawa that we had to re-season it to use further. A few other users too had the same experience. Some even stripped off the seasoning and reseasoned it. But if you have to take that much effort seasoning it, you would be better off buying an unseasoned Tawa at a fraction of the cost.
Being lightweight, it is easier to carry around. But, unlike Dynamic Cookware and Rock Tawa, it comes with a single handle.
The texture of the Dosa made in the Tawa comes out pretty good. But it has a tendency to stick to the Tawa even after a few attempts. So, you may have to season the Tawa properly to use it comfortably.
The pricing is competitive. But, we would recommend you to buy it only if you are confident of seasoning the Tawa on your own.
The Tawa is available in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 9 to 14 inches.
Check price: Amazon
Ideally, your dosa Tawa should at least have a 2.5mm thickness so that it can retain heat and make dosas that are seared evenly and crisp. If you buy nonstick Dosa Tawa with lesser thickness, you also run the risk of overheating the nonstick. This may result in nonstick coating breaking down and emitting harmful fumes.
Dosa made in cast iron Tawa is definitely better in terms of taste and texture. But, cast iron requires a bit more maintenance compared to nonstick. If you want a restaurant like dosa, then opt for cast iron. If convenience is your priority and you make dosa just occasionally, opt for nonstick Tawa with a thick base.
Ideally, opt for a Tawa that is at least 10 inches in diameter. Larger cast iron Tawas will be heavier and more difficult to handle compared to nonstick Tawas.
Dosa gets stuck to cast iron Tawa due to a plethora of reasons ranging from improperly seasoned Tawa to poor quality ingredients. You can read in detail here to know more about the reasons why dosa gets stuck to Tawa.
Hawkins Futura is the best nonstick Tawa for dosa as it has a thick base of 2.5 mm and is well-built. Moreover, it has an anodized aluminium base and a nonstick coating on top of it. This enhances the durability of the pan as well as the coating.
We have found Dynamic Cookware and Indus Valley Smooth to be the best cast-iron Dosa Tawas. Dynamic Cookware has a smooth surface and also its handles are ergonomically designed. So, you can move the Tawa easily.
If the dosa gets stuck to Tawa due to poor seasoning of the Tawa, then, apply some oil and heat it on a low flame for 5-10 minutes. This helps create a layer of seasoning that prevents dosa from getting stuck to the tawa. Always ensure that the Tawa is properly preheated before spreading the batter. Sometimes there could be other reasons like a low flame, poor quality ingredients, unfermented batter and so on.
Nonstick Tawas are fairly maintenance-free. Ensure you clean it using a soft sponge and store it in such a way that other utensils don’t rub against the coating and damage it. Also, avoid making chapati and roti in the same Tawa you use for making dosa.
Cast iron needs comparatively more maintenance. After use, clean it using soap and a soft sponge. Dry it off and apply oil before keeping it away to prevent rusting. Before use, clean it once again and preheat the Tawa on a low flame.