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For the PepsiCo beverage, see Tava (soft drink). For the village in Azerbaijan, see Birinci Udullu.
Indian Tawa

A tava(h), tawa(h), teghna(h), tabbakhe(y), saj, or sac is a large, flat or convex disc-shaped frying pan made from metal, usually sheet iron, cast iron, sheet steel or aluminium. It is used in South, Central, and West Asia 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 convex versions are found.


In Hindi and Urdu tawaa means pan[1] and is used in South Asia, including India and Pakistan. It is similar to the Persian word tava(h)/tawa(h), which is used in Iran; while the Turkic name saj (lit. sheet-metal and written saç or sac in Turkish and صاج in Arabic)[2] is used in Southwest Asia, with overlap in Pakistan and Afghanistan.[3]

The word tava is also used in Turkish and Croatian, but 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.


A tava or saj is used to cook a variety of leavened and unleavened flatbreads and crepes across the broad region: 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.

General cooking[edit]

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

See also[edit]

  • 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
  • Frying pan, a similar utensil used in Scotland and elsewhere


  1. ^ http://dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.2:1:4537.platts
  2. ^ Maxime Rodinson, et al., Medieval Arab cookery, 2001, p. 154
  3. ^ Suad Joseph, Afsaneh Najmabadi, Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures: Family, body, sexuality and health, 2005, p. 109