A tava(h), tawa(h), saj, or sac is a large, flat or convex disc-shaped griddle 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 griddle for meat. It also sometimes refers to ceramic griddles.
The Persian language name tava(h)/tawa(h) is used in South Asia, including India and Pakistan; while the Turkic name saj (lit. sheet-metal and written saç or sac in Turkish and صاج in Arabic) is used in Southwest Asia, with overlap in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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.
In Pakistan, especially in rural areas, large convex saj are used to cook several breads at a same time or to make rumali roti.
A gas-fired saç (rear) in a restaurant near Antalya
Meat is often cooked on a saj.
In South Asia, tavas are also used to fry foods called tava fry, taka tak bhaji, tawa bhaji, tawa masala, etc.
- Sač, a cooking utensil used in the Balkans with a saj-shaped lid
- Mongolian barbecue, a Taiwanese grill dish sometimes using a saj-like griddle.
- Comal (cookware), a similar utensil in Mexican cuisine
- Griddle, a similar utensil used in Scotland and elsewhere
- Maxime Rodinson, et al., Medieval Arab cookery, 2001, p. 154
- Suad Joseph, Afsaneh Najmabadi, Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures: Family, body, sexuality and health, 2005, p. 109
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