Dosa is a South Indian breakfast loved by people across the country. A perfect mix of proteins, carbohydrates, it is not only healthy but also delicious. Though loved by all, many homemakers are intimidated by Dosa, as achieving the right consistency, texture and taste is not an easy feat. For that, first and foremost, you need to make the perfect batter by using rice and urad in a 3:1 ratio and allowing it to ferment flawlessly. But even then, if you don’t have the right Dosa Tawa, you wouldn’t be able to make them in the right texture.
In India, mainly two types of Dosa Tawas are available- one with nonstick coating and the other made of cast iron. The third variety is Tawa which is made of pure iron. But, being thin, there is a higher tendency of scorching in pure iron Tawa. So, we talk mainly about nonstick and cast iron Tawa, and the difference between the two to understand which one to choose.
Cast Iron Tawa
Cast iron Tawas are heavier and thicker compared to nonstick Tawas. They have high heat retention. As a result, it creates better searing. Dosas you make on cast iron Tawas have a crunchier texture at the bottom, yet a softer texture on the top. The taste and texture closely resemble the Dosa you get from restaurants.
But the flip side is that cast iron Tawa is a bit more difficult to maintain. They are prone to rust and often Dosa gets stuck on the Tawa. To avoid this, you need to clean the Tawa and apply oil immediately after use. Also, you need to season the Tawa correctly so that Dosa doesn’t get stuck on them. Once you get a hang of using cast iron cookware, then, it would be as easy as using any other cookware.
Nonstick Tawas have an aluminium body on which the PTFE coating is applied. The coating is highly water repellant. As a result, you don’t have to worry about Dosa getting stuck on the Tawa. Spreading the batter is also quite easy, provided you don’t overheat the pan. Overall, it is quite maintenance-free. So, if you are someone who makes Dosa just occasionally, then a nonstick Dosa Tawa would be the right option for you.
The drawback however is that you won’t be able to achieve a crunchy texture, typical to Dosas made in cast iron Tawa. Also, nonstick cookware should not be overheated. When overheated, the PTFE coating breaks down and emits fumes that are harmful. These fumes when inhaled, cause Teflon flu, which has symptoms like normal flu for human beings. But if you have pet birds at your home, then, these fumes could even be fatal to them.
Which To Choose?
If you are a dosa connoisseur who is very picky about the taste and texture of your Dosa, then, you need a cast-iron Dosa Tawa, which will be able to replicate the restaurant-like taste. If on the other hand, you just occasionally make Dosa and don’t wish to spend time maintaining cast iron, then a nonstick Tawa would be good for you. Ideally, buy a nonstick Tawa with a thick base so that it retains heat and imparts better texture.