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A concave tawa designed for use in a home kitchen

A tava(h), tawa(h), tapa, saj, or saj tava is a flat or concave disc-shaped frying pan or griddle, usually made of cast iron, aluminum, or carbon steel.[1] It may be enameled or given a non-stick surface.[2][3] It is used in the cuisines of Central, West, and South Asia, and of the Caucasus, the Caribbean, and the Balkans. The large concave styles of tava, sometimes called a saj or sac tava, may be turned upside down for cooking a variety of flatbreads on the convex side. The concave side is used like a wok[4] or frying pan.[5][6]


In nearly all Indo-Aryan languages such as Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu tawaa means cooking pan.[7] It is cognate with the Persian word tāve (تاوه‏),[8] which is used in Iran, and with the Georgian tapa (ტაფა); while the name saj ((صاج) in Arabic, lit. sheet-metal)[9][10] and written saç or sac in Turkish is used in Southwest Asia, with overlap in Pakistan and Afghanistan.[11] The word tava is also used in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian and Turkish and refers to any kind of frying pan. In Serbia and 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 bake a variety of leavened and unleavened flatbreads and pancakes across the broad region: pita, naan, saj bread, roti, chapati, paratha, dosa, and pesarattu. In Pakistan, especially in rural areas, large convex saj are used to cook several breads at the same time or to make rumali roti.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Petrina Verma Sarkar, "What Is an Indian Tawa?", The Spruce Eats April 13, 2019
  2. ^ Marie Simmons, Things Cooks Love: Implements, Ingredients, Recipes, 2008, ISBN 0740769766, p. 251
  3. ^ https://www.google.com/books/edition/South_Indian_Cooking/3m6DBAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=tava+non+stick&pg=PT32
  4. ^ https://www.google.com/books/edition/Fodor_s_Turkey/FEVEAgAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=sac+tava+wok&pg=PT751
  5. ^ Mason, Taymer (2016-11-29). Caribbean Vegan: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Authentic Island Cuisine for Every Occasion. The Experiment. ISBN 9781615193615.
  6. ^ "How Do You Use a Tawa to Cook Indian?". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  7. ^ "A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and English". Dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  8. ^ F. Steingass, A Comprehensive Persian–English Dictionary, 1930, p. 277
  9. ^ Maxime Rodinson, et al., Medieval Arab cookery, 2001, p. 154
  10. ^ Hans Wehr, Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, 1966, p. 499
  11. ^ Suad Joseph, Afsaneh Najmabadi, Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures: Family, body, sexuality and health, 2005, p. 109