There are lots of utensils you can use for cooking Indian food. But if you are planning to make an Indian inspired stir-fry or stew, you would need a kadhai pan. A kadhai or kadai or karahi, is a cooking utensil similar to the Asian wok but with steeper sides.
It can come with a flat base or round base and comes in many different materials such as stainless-steel, aluminum and even non-stick. The kadhai is used for cooking a variety of food in Indian, Pakistani, Afghani, Bangladeshi and Nepalese cuisine.
Something interesting about the kadhai is that the recipes cooked in the utensil are named after it! So if you are cooking a chicken based recipe in it, the food will be called ‘Chicken Kadhai’ and if you are cooking a cauliflower based recipe, it will be called ‘Cauliflower Kadhai’.
If you want to try some recipes for yourself, it’s best to look for the best kadhai for Indian cooking to get the most authentic flavor possible. To help you choose, I have compiled a list of the best kadhais for Indian cooking.
Table of Contents
Cooks Standard NC-00233 Wok stir Fry pan
- 13-inch wok made of 18/10 stainless steel with aluminum core
- Solid stainless-steel riveted handles stay cooler with air-flow technology
- Secure-fitting stainless-steel dome lid traps in heat and moisture
- Dishwasher-safe; oven-safe to 500 degrees F
- Measures 23 by 13-1/2 by 5 inches; limited lifetime warranty Shape round
For the regular cook, Cooks Standard is a well-known name in the cookware industry. They produce quality cookware items that are easy to use and long lasting too. This wok-like pan by the brand can be used as a suitable replacement for the best kadhai for Indian cooking.
The kadhai is made of 18/10 stainless steel with a sleek and beautiful design that comes with a handy lid and a cool touch handle. The kadhai has an aluminum core for quick and even heat distribution not just at the bottom but also at the sides. This ensures equal distribution of heat all throughout, eliminating any heat spots that may cause the food to burn or stick. The steel is also scratch resistant and easy to maintain. It can be used on any stove-top, even induction.
You can use this kadhai in the oven safely under 500 degrees Fahrenheit and you can clean it either with your trusted scourer by hand or pop it in the dishwasher as it is dishwasher safe. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so you can be assured that you’ll be cooking many delicious kadhais with this pan.
Michelangelo Non-Stick Wok Pan
- ALL-IN-ONE MULTI-PURPOSE COOKWARE - The Michelangelo 5 quart nonstick woks and stir frying pans set is everything you need to prepare delicious stir-fry, steaming, roasting, boiling, baking meals and more. The non stick ceramic wok with lid set can be used as deep fry pan, saute pan, deep skillet, frying wok, stir fry wok, stir fry pan, baking dish, roasting pan, rice cooker, steamer and deep stockpot.
- ULTRA NON STICK COATING SCRATCH RESISTANT - The superior ceramic & titanium interior is ultra non stick and scratch resistant that enhances both durability and cooking performance. Food slides right off on the truly nonstick surface for optimum cooking. Ideal for use over low to medium heat with minimum oil or butter for healthy diet. Cleans up easily, dishwasher safe (hand wash is recommended), & oven safe Oven safe to 400F.
- HEATS QUICKLY & EVENLY - The ceramic woks and stir frying pans is made of professional grade aluminum alloy that conducts heat quickly and evenly with precise temperature control and no hot spot. Food stir fries quickly and evenly across the surface of the 11 inch nonstick wok and slips onto the plate once ready. Designed with a long stainless steel handle and a helper handle, stays cool to touch when cooking, easy to grip, provide extra support and balance when lifting and pour.
- TOXIC FREE & INDUNCTION COMPATIBLE - PTFA, PFOA, lead and cadmium free, ideal for healthy cooking. Choose Michelangelo Ceramic Non Stick Wok Set for greener and safer cookware. The deep frying pan is made with a flat bottom which allows it to be placed evenly over heat source and suitable for use on all stove tops including induction, glass & gas.
- VERSATILE - Set includes 11 Inch / 5 Quart Nonstick Wok With Lid, Deep Frying Basket, & Roasting Steaming Rack. The 5 quart ceramic wok pan is the optimal size for day-to-day cooking. The high quality glass lid is heat and shatter resistant which prevents splatters, seals in the flavor and nutrients for a healthier and better tasting food. The frying basket of wok allows for the easy placement or removal of food from hot water or oil. The roasting rack comes in handy for roasting delicious meals
We have talked about the Michelangelo Non-Stick Wok Pan before but we have to include it in this list for sure! It is a 5-quart pan with a flat bottom that makes it a good utensil for making kadhai recipes. If you love non-stick pans but are also worried about the safety concerns, this pan is the one for you. It’s free from PTFA, PFOA, lead and cadmium, which gives you peace of mind while cooking for your family.
You can use it to try out different recipes that can only be made in the best kadhai for Indian cooking. Furthermore, you can also use it to stir-fry, steam, roast, boil, sauté, cook rice or braise your meals. It’s safe to use in the oven so you can start off your meals on the stove and finish them in the oven.
Since the ceramic and titanium interior is scratch resistant as well as non-stick, you can be sure this pan will give you years of delicious and convenient cooking. Even though manual cleaning is easy due to the non-stick surface of the pan, it can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher as well.
Although the core is made of aluminum for quick and even heat distribution, the handle is made of stainless steel that stays cool to the touch while cooking and is easy to grip. You can slide your meal right off the surface and into your plate.
The wok comes with a heat and shatterproof glass lid, a deep-frying basket and a roasting and steaming rack. So if you are investing in this, you know you can get a lot more out of it than it just being the best kadhai for Indian cooking.
T-fal A80789 Jumbo Wok
- Large capacity for cooking family size meals
- Superior nonstick interior and exterior make it easy to cook and clean. Healthy cooking results with minimal oils or fat
- Aluminum construction for fast and even heat distribution
- Dishwasher safe; Oven safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Limited lifetime warranty
This sleek black non-stick pan by T-fal can be a great kadhai for Indian cooking. It is large in size so you can cook a family sized recipe in it and serve it to a large group of people and impress them with your Indian cooking skills!
The aluminum base allows for consistent heating and the PFOA-Free nonstick coating allows for easy cooking, handling and cleanup. The sturdy construction and stay-cool feature on both handles make cooking easier and safer for your hands.
Even though most kadhai recipes call for a good amount of oil or ‘ghee’ to get the rich flavor from the fat, the non-stick surface allows for minimal use of oil, and you can whip up a low-fat version of kadhais for yourself.
The pan is dishwasher safe, so even though cleanup is easy due to the non-stick surface, if you feel like it, you can wash it in the dishwasher since it’s dishwasher safe. It’s also safe to use in the oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The kadhai comes with a limited lifetime warranty and can be a great item for your kitchen but also makes a good wedding or housewarming present.
The above mentioned options are what we find to be the best kadhais for Indian cooking. If you are someone who prefers versatility, go for the Michelangelo. If you are looking for a larger option go for the T-fal and if you are more comfortable with stainless steel, go for the Cooks Standard.
All three are a good investment in their own niche. To give your kadhai recipe an elevated twist, get a small copper tableware kadhai used specifically for serving purposes. It will impress your guests and make the food look appetizing as well as more authentic.
Whatever you choose, make sure to let us know in the comments below!
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