Saj (utensil)

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

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.

In West Asia, tava/saj are invariably convex, while in South Asia, both flat and convex versions are found.

Etymology

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)[1] is used in Southwest Asia, with overlap in Pakistan and Afghanistan.[2]

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.

Breads

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, pao bhaaji, 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

Meat is often cooked on a saj.

General cooking

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

See also

  • 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

Notes

Sources

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