Best Kadhai for Indian Cooking

Choosing the best kadhai for Indian cooking can significantly enhance your culinary experience. In Indian cuisine, the kadhai is an essential cookware for various cooking purposes. Also known as a wok, this versatile utensil is used for frying, sautéing, and even deep-frying.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on kitchen kadhai – their types, benefits, and how to choose the right one for your cooking needs. Whether you are an experienced home cook or just starting out exploring Indian cuisine, this article will help you understand the different types of kitchen kadhai available in the market and what makes them unique.

Also, we will discuss the pros and cons of each type so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing a kadhai for your kitchen.

What is a Kadhai and Why is it Important in Indian Cuisine

The kitchen kadhai is a cooking utensil that holds great significance in Indian cuisine due to its unique shape and ability to withstand high temperatures. It is ideal for deep-frying, sautéing, and preparing various dishes.

The history of the kadhai dates back to ancient times when metalworking techniques were first developed. Initially used for melting metals, kadhai gradually found its way into the kitchens of India, where it became an essential tool for cooking.

While similar in shape to a wok, the kadhai differs in several ways. Unlike a wok with sloping sides, the kadhai has a rounded bottom with vertical sides. This design allows for even heat distribution throughout the cooked dish while preventing spillage.

Another key difference is that while woks are typically made from carbon steel or cast iron, kadhai can be made from various materials, including copper, brass or stainless steel.

There are also regional variations in how kadhai is used and what types of dishes are prepared using this utensil. In Northern India, Kadhai Chicken and Kadhi Pakora are popular dishes, whereas Southern India uses them primarily for frying snacks like samosas and vadas. In Eastern India, fish curry is often cooked in a kadhai, while Western India uses it to prepare sabzis (vegetable curries).

The kitchen kadhai plays an important role in Indian cuisine beyond just another cooking utensil. Its unique design efficiently prepares dishes full of flavours and aromas while contributing to India’s cultural identity and heritage.

Best Kadhai for Indian Cooking: Our Recommendations

1. Hawkins Futura Deep Non-Stick Kadhai

The Hawkins Futura 3.5 Litre Deep Kadhai is a versatile and essential kitchen tool. Made with a non-stick surface and a stainless steel lid, this kadhai is perfect for frying, sautéing, and simmering.

Its flat bottom ensures even heat distribution and compatibility with induction cooktops. The kadhai’s deep design allows for generous cooking capacity, making it suitable for preparing large meals.

With its sleek black finish, it adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen. Enjoy hassle-free cooking with this durable and high-quality kadhai from Hawkins.


  1. Non-stick surface for easy cooking and cleaning.
  2. Stainless steel lid for better heat retention and flavour preservation.
  3. Flat bottom for even heat distribution and compatibility with induction cooktops.
  4. Generous cooking capacity with a 3.5-litre size.
  5. Sleek and elegant black finish.


  1. It may require extra care to maintain the non-stick coating.
  2. The stainless steel lid can get hot during cooking, requiring oven mitts or a kitchen towel when handling.

2. Milton Pro Cook Black Pearl Induction Kadhai

It’s a versatile and stylish addition to your kitchen. Made from high-quality aluminium, this kadhai ensures fast and even heat distribution for efficient cooking.

With a capacity of 3.4 litres and a diameter of 26 cm, it is perfect for preparing delicious meals for your family. The induction base makes it compatible with all stovetops, while the non-stick coating ensures easy cleaning.

The sturdy handles provide a comfortable grip while cooking. Upgrade your cooking experience with the Milton Pro Cook Black Pearl Induction Kadhai!


  1. High-quality aluminium construction
  2. Fast and even heat distribution
  3. Compatible with all types of stovetops
  4. Non-stick coating for easy cleaning
  5. Sturdy handles for a comfortable grip


  1. No lid included
  2. It may require additional seasoning before use

3. Vinod Cookware Deep Kadhai with Glass Lid

The Vinod Cookware Deep Kadhai is a versatile and durable pot perfect for Indian cooking, sauces, pasta, and soup.

With a capacity of 4.1 litres (4.3 quarts) and a diameter of 26 cm (10.25 inches), it provides ample space for your culinary creations. Made of hard-anodized aluminium, this kadhai offers even heat distribution and excellent heat retention.

The round bottom ensures stability on the stove, while the glass lid allows you to monitor your food while it cooks. Whether a home chef or a professional cook, this multi-use wok is a must-have in your kitchen.


  1. Suitable for various cooking needs
  2. Durable and long-lasting hard-anodized construction
  3. Provides even heat distribution and retention
  4. Round bottom for stability on the stove
  5. Comes with a glass lid for easy monitoring


  1. Bit heavier

4. BERGNER Tripro Triply Stainless Steel Deep Kadai

The BERGNER Tripro Kadai is a versatile and durable addition to your kitchen.

With a capacity of 6.0 litres, this kadai is perfect for cooking large meals. It features durable stay and cool cast handles, ensuring safe and comfortable handling.

The flared rim allows easy pouring, and the heavy bottom ensures even heat distribution. Compatible with induction and gas stoves, this kadai is ready for any cooking adventure.

Plus, it is metal spatula-friendly, making it convenient for all your cooking needs. Get ready to elevate your cooking experience with this high-quality kadai from BERGNER.


  • 6.0-litre capacity for cooking large meals
  • Durable stay-cool cast handles for safe and comfortable handling
  • Flared rim for easy pouring
  • Heavy bottom for even heat distribution
  • Compatible with both induction and gas stoves
  • Metal spatula friendly for convenience in the kitchen


  • Bit higher price

5. Hawkins Futura 1.5 Litre Hard Anodised Kadai

The Hawkins Futura 1.5 Litre Deep Fry Pan is a versatile and durable kitchen essential. Made from hard anodised aluminium, this kadai (round-bottomed pan) is perfect for frying, sautéing, and stir-frying.

The non-stick coating ensures easy food release and effortless cleaning. With a capacity of 1.5 litres, it is ideal for small to medium-sized cooking tasks. The sturdy handle provides a comfortable grip and stays cool during cooking.

The black colour adds a sleek and modern touch to your kitchen. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, the Hawkins Futura Deep Fry Pan is a must-have for delicious cooking.


  • Made from durable and long-lasting hard anodised aluminium
  • Non-stick coating for easy food release and cleaning
  • Sturdy handle for a comfortable grip
  • Round-bottomed design for even heat distribution
  • Versatile and suitable for various cooking tasks
  • The sleek and modern black colour adds style to your kitchen.


  • Not suitable for induction cooktops
  • Capacity may be small for larger cooking needs

Different Types of Kitchen Kadhai

Various varieties of cooking pans used in Indian cuisine are available, including those made from steel, aluminium, copper, and cast iron. However, Kadhai holds a special place due to its unique shape and size.

Kadhai is a versatile kitchen utensil that comes in different types to suit the diverse cooking needs of Indian households. Here are some popular types of kitchen kadhai:

  • Traditional Kadhai: This type of kadhai is made from iron or brass and has a deep bowl-like structure with no handles. It is ideal for frying and sautéing as it retains heat for a long time.
  • Aluminum Kadhai: These kadhais are lightweight and easier to handle than traditional ones. They come with handles on both sides, making them easy to lift off the stove. They are perfect for shallow frying and preparing gravies.
  • Deep Kadhai: This version of aluminium kadhai has high walls, which make it ideal for deep-frying snacks like samosas, pakoras or jalebis.
  • Electric Kadai: As the name suggests, this type works on electricity rather than gas stoves. These kadhais have an adjustable temperature control feature that allows you to cook food at your desired temperature.
  • Induction Kadai: With induction cooktops becoming popular nowadays, induction kadhai has also gained popularity among people who prefer low-fat cooking.

In addition to their convenience, kitchen kadai offers various health benefits. Cooking in cast iron or brass kadai adds dietary iron into your food, which helps boost haemoglobin levels in your body while reducing the chances of anaemia. The non-stick coating on modern versions ensures less oil usage leading to healthier meals.

Choosing the right kind of kitchen kadai depends on individual preferences and requirements such as frequency of use, family size, etc. A traditional iron or brass one might be perfect for someone who follows age-old cooking methods, while a modern electric or induction one might suit someone who is always on the go.

Regardless of the type, kitchen kadai has been an integral part of Indian households for centuries and will continue to be so in the future.

Stainless Steel Kadhai: Pros and Cons

Stainless steel kadhai is a popular choice among modern households due to its durability and versatility in cooking. It is made of high-grade stainless steel, which makes it resistant to rust, corrosion and other types of damage.

Stainless steel kadhais are a common sight in many kitchens. This type of kadhai can last for years with proper care and maintenance. Here are some pros and cons of Stainless steel kadhai.


  1. Durability: Stainless steel is incredibly durable and resistant to rust, staining, and scratching. A well-cared-for stainless steel kadhai can last a lifetime.
  2. Easy Maintenance: These kadhais are generally easy to clean and maintain, as they can often be cleaned in a dishwasher and don’t require special care like seasoning.
  3. Non-Reactive: Unlike copper or cast iron, stainless steel does not react with acidic or alkaline foods. This means you can cook any food in it without worrying about altering the taste or leaching metals into your dishes.
  4. Versatile: Stainless steel kadhais are suitable for all types of cooking, including frying, sautéing, searing, and simmering, making them a versatile choice for various cuisines and dishes.


  1. Poor Heat Distribution: Stainless steel does not distribute heat as evenly as copper or cast iron, which could lead to hot spots and uneven cooking. However, many stainless steel kadhais are made with an aluminium or copper core to improve heat distribution.
  2. Food Sticking: Unlike well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick cookware, food can stick to the surface of stainless steel kadhais, particularly if they are overheated or not adequately greased.
  3. Can be Expensive: High-quality stainless steel kadhais, especially those with copper or aluminium cores, can be more expensive than other kadhais.

Regarding price range, stainless steel kadhai falls somewhere between expensive copper or cast iron kadhais and budget-friendly aluminium ones. However, considering its durability and long-term usage, investing in a good quality stainless steel kadhai might save you money in the long run instead of constantly replacing cheaper alternatives.

Cleaning tips for maintaining your stainless-steel kadhai:

This includes rinsing it immediately after use with warm water and soap while avoiding abrasive materials like scrubbers that may scratch the surface. Additionally, soaking the dish overnight with baking soda mixed into warm water aids in cleaning stubborn stains or burnt-on food residues from the surface quickly without causing any harm to your kitchenware.

Copper Kadhai: Pros and Cons

Copper kadhai is a traditional Indian cookware that has gained popularity due to its unique properties and aesthetic appeal. Copper has been used in kitchen utensils for centuries due to its excellent heat conductivity, making it an ideal material for cooking. Copper kadhai offers several advantages over other materials, such as aluminium and stainless steel. In terms of durability, copper kadhai can last for generations if properly maintained.

Here’s a list of the pros and cons of using a copper kadhai.


  1. Superior Heat Conductivity: Copper is a superb heat conductor, ensuring the kadhai heats up quickly and evenly. This feature results in more uniform cooking and helps prevent hot spots that can burn your food.
  2. Responsive to Heat Changes: Copper kadhais respond quickly to changes in heat, giving you more control over the cooking process. This property makes them ideal for recipes that require precise temperature control.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: Copper kadhais have a distinct, beautiful aesthetic that can add a touch of elegance to any kitchen. They also have an old-world charm that’s appealing to many people.


  1. Requires Regular Maintenance: Copper kadhais require regular polishing to maintain shine and prevent oxidation, which can lead to a dull appearance.
  2. Reactivity: Copper is a reactive metal and can react with acidic or alkaline foods, potentially altering the taste of your dish and leaching the metal into your food. Most copper kadhais are lined with tin or stainless steel to avoid this.
  3. Cost: Copper kadhais are generally more expensive than their stainless steel or cast iron counterparts, which could be a deterrent for some.
  4. Durability: While copper is a durable material, the lining inside a copper kadhai (often tin) can wear off over time and require re-tinning.

Overall, regarding cooking techniques, health benefits, and stunning visual appeal, owning a copper kadhai would elevate your culinary skills and serve as an heirloom piece passed down through generations while adding charm to your kitchen decor!

Cast Iron Kadhai: Pros and Cons

Cast iron is a durable and versatile material used in cookware for centuries. Kadhai, made of cast iron, has several advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing the best one for your kitchen.

Cast-iron kadhai

However, like any kitchen tool, they come with their unique set of pros and cons.


  1. Excellent Heat Retention: Cast iron kadhais are renowned for their superior heat retention. Once heated, they stay hot longer, making them perfect for slow-cooking dishes, deep-frying, and other recipes requiring sustained heat.
  2. Durability: These kadhais are incredibly durable and can last a lifetime with proper care. Their rugged construction means they can withstand high temperatures and rough handling.
  3. Natural Non-stick Properties: When seasoned correctly, a cast iron kadhai develops a natural non-stick surface. This makes cooking and cleanup easier while avoiding the potential health risks of synthetic non-stick coatings.
  4. Adds Iron to Food: Cast iron kadhais can add small amounts of iron to your food, a vital nutrient for maintaining good health.


  1. Heavy Weight: Cast iron kadhais are pretty heavy, which might make handling them difficult, especially when full of food.
  2. Slow to Heat Up: While excellent at retaining heat, cast iron kadhais take longer than other materials like aluminium or copper.
  3. Needs Regular Seasoning: To maintain its non-stick properties and prevent rusting, a cast iron kadhai requires regular seasoning (coating the pan with a thin layer of oil and heating it).
  4. Reactive with Certain Foods: Cast iron can react with acidic foods like tomatoes or vinegar, potentially altering the dish’s taste and damaging the kadhai’s seasoning.

Overall, while there may be some drawbacks, such as the need for careful cleaning and maintenance measures like seasoning, investing in a high-quality cast-iron kadhai could prove beneficial in terms of durability, versatility, even heating properties and overall performance in your kitchen, making it an essential item for all home chefs.

Aluminium Kadhai: Pros and Cons

Aluminium kadhais are widely used in many kitchens due to their lightweight nature and heat conductivity. The following pros and cons of Aluminium Kadhais should be considered against your specific cooking needs.


  1. Lightweight: Aluminium kadhais are lighter than their cast iron and stainless steel counterparts, making them easy to handle and manoeuvre during cooking.
  2. Excellent Heat Conductor: Aluminium is an excellent conductor of heat, ensuring the kadhai heats up quickly and evenly, which can contribute to more consistent cooking.
  3. Affordable: Generally, aluminium kadhais are more affordable than those made from other materials, making them a good choice for those on a budget.


  1. Reactivity: Aluminium is a reactive metal, which means it may react with acidic or alkaline ingredients, possibly affecting the taste of your food and potentially leaching the metal into your food.
  2. Durability Concerns: Aluminium kadhais are less durable than cast iron or stainless steel. They can warp under high heat and are prone to scratches and dents.
  3. Not Induction Compatible: Most aluminium kadhais are incompatible with induction stoves unless they have a special base, which may limit their use in some kitchens.
Aluminium Kadhai

Why Non-Stick Kadhais Are Getting Popular?

Non-stick kadhai has become popular among home cooks due to its convenience and ease of use. Non-stick cookware is designed with a coating that prevents food from sticking to the surface, making it easy to clean and maintain. These types of kadhai are ideal for cooking dishes that require less oil or fat, which can benefit those looking for healthier cooking options.

One of the main advantages of non-stick kadhai is their versatility in the kitchen. They can be used for cooking various dishes such as stir-fries, curries, and even deep-frying. The non-stick surface allows for easy flipping and tossing of ingredients without worrying about them sticking to the bottom or sides. This makes it ideal for busy home cooks who want to prepare delicious meals quickly.

While non-stick kadhai has many benefits, users should consider some durability concerns before purchasing one. Over time, the non-stick coating may wear off or scratch easily if not handled properly. Excessive heat or abrasive cleaning methods can damage the coating and reduce effectiveness. Therefore, it’s essential to follow proper cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Another concern associated with non-stick cookware is toxicity risks related to the chemicals used in manufacturing these products. Some studies have shown that prolonged exposure to these chemicals may pose health risks like cancer or reproductive harm. However, manufacturers have implemented strict regulations on using safer materials in producing non-stick cookware that complies with international safety standards.

Best Non-stick Kadhai for Indian Cooking

Non-stick kadhai comes in different price ranges depending on their features and brand names available in the market today. While some high-end models come with advanced features like multiple layers of coatings or reinforced handles that increase durability over time, others may be budget-friendly while still providing excellent cooking results at affordable prices suitable for most households’ needs and preferences.

When choosing a non-stick kadhai, it’s crucial to consider your cooking needs and budget while weighing the pros and cons of using this type of cookware in your kitchen.

Benefits of Using a Kitchen Kadhai

Cooking with a kadhai can enhance the flavour and texture of traditional Indian dishes. However, the benefits of using a kitchen kadhai extend beyond just taste.

  1. Health Benefits: The foremost advantage of using a kitchen kadhai is that it can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Kadhai cooking requires less oil than other cooking methods, making it an ideal choice for those conscious of their dietary intake. Even more, a cast iron kadhai can naturally supplement your food with iron, a vital nutrient for maintaining good health.
  2. Versatility in Cooking: The kitchen kadhai is an incredibly versatile tool in your culinary arsenal. Its ability to be used for frying, sautéing, stir-frying, and deep-frying enables you to prepare various dishes, from mouth-watering curries and biryanis to delicious pakoras. The high sides of the kadhai further enhance its functionality by preventing spillage while preparing stews or soups.
  3. Efficiency in Cooking: A kitchen kadhai’s unique design and shape can boost cooking efficiency. Its rounded bottom ensures even heat distribution, promoting faster cooking times and more efficient energy use. This not only saves you time but also reduces your energy consumption when compared to using other types of cookware.
  4. Ease of Cleaning: When it comes to cleaning, a well-seasoned kitchen kadhai is less of a hassle due to its non-stick properties. This makes the post-cooking clean-up a breeze, allowing you to enjoy your meal without worrying about dishwashing later.
  5. Durability: Lastly, a cast iron kadhai scores high on durability. It tends to outlast other cookware options when maintained correctly, making it a cost-effective investment for your kitchen.

Its benefits span health, versatility, cooking efficiency, ease of cleaning, and durability. Incorporating a kitchen kadhai into your daily cooking routine is a decision that offers numerous paybacks beyond taste.

How to Choose the Best Kadhai for Indian Cooking Needs

Selecting the appropriate kadhai can be challenging, but with some essential considerations, you can choose the one that suits your cooking needs.

  1. Consider the Material: Kadhais are available in various materials, each offering unique benefits. Stainless steel kadhais are durable and straightforward to maintain. Cast iron kadhais retain heat exceptionally well, making them perfect for deep-frying. Copper kadhais heat up quickly and distribute heat evenly, though they may need regular maintenance. Non-stick kadhais are great for low-fat cooking, as they require minimal oil.
  2. Size Matters: The size of your kadhai should align with your cooking needs. A smaller kadhai will be sufficient if you cook for a small family or prepare a single dish at a time. However, a larger kadhai will be more suitable if you often make meals for larger groups or cook multiple dishes simultaneously.
  3. The shape of the Kadhai: The shape of a kadhai can significantly impact your cooking style. Traditional round-bottomed kadhais are ideal for deep-frying due to their curved shape, enabling easy food movement. On the other hand, flat-bottomed kadhais are more versatile and can be used for stir-frying, sautéing, or shallow frying.
  4. Brand Reputation: The brand of the kadhai is a vital factor to consider. Look for reputable brands that deliver quality products and offer robust customer service support. Prestige, Hawkins Futura, and Vinod Cookware are some popular brands you can consider.

Choosing the right kadhai for your kitchen entails careful consideration of the material, size, shape, and brand. Considering these factors, you can select a kadhai that best fits your cooking style, needs, and preferences.

Care and Maintenance of Your Kitchen Kadhai

Maintaining your kadhai regularly can ensure its longevity and help you prepare delicious dishes for years to come. The first step in caring for your kadhai is cleaning it properly after every use. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers that may damage the surface of the kadhai. Use a soft cloth or sponge with mild dish soap and warm water to clean the inside and outside of the kadhai.

Another important aspect of caring for your kadhai is seasoning it before first use and periodically thereafter. Seasoning involves coating the surface of the kadhai with oil or fat to create a non-stick layer that prevents food from sticking to it. This process also helps prevent rusting and extends the life of your kadhai. To season your new kadhai, heat it over medium-high heat with a generous amount of oil until smoking, then wipe off excess oil with a paper towel.

Proper storage solutions are equally important in maintaining the quality of your kitchen kadhai. Allow your kadhai to cool down completely before storing it in a dry place. Stacking other cookware on top of it can dent or scratch its surface, so avoid doing this whenever possible.

Pay attention to common mistakes that many people make when cooking with their kitchen kadhais. For instance, using metal utensils on non-stick surfaces can cause scratches and damage over time; instead, opt for wooden or silicone utensils, which will not harm the non-stick coating. Additionally, avoid overheating by never leaving an empty pan on high heat, as this can cause warping or damage to its surface.

Taking proper care of your kitchen kadhai through regular cleaning, seasoning processes, and storage solutions can extend its lifespan while enhancing your culinary experience at home.

Remembering these tips ensures that you’ll be able to enjoy preparing delicious meals for years to come without worrying about replacing your kitchen kadhai.


Kadhai is a vital piece of cookware in Indian cuisine. Its versatility and ability to handle various cooking techniques make it an essential tool for any kitchen.

When selecting a kadhai, it’s essential to consider factors such as material, size, and purpose. Each type of kadhai has its benefits and drawbacks that should be weighed against one another before making a final decision.

Stainless steel kadhai is durable and easy to clean but may not provide the best non-stick surface for certain dishes. Non-stick kadhai can make cooking easier with minimal oil but may not be suitable for high-heat cooking or metal utensils.

Copper kadhai offers excellent heat distribution but requires regular maintenance to prevent tarnishing. Cast iron kadhai is ideal for slow-cooking recipes due to its heat retention properties but requires seasoning before use.

Proper care and maintenance are crucial in extending the lifespan of your kitchen kadhai. Regular cleaning, seasoning (in the case of cast iron), avoiding harsh detergents or abrasives, and storing properly can all contribute to ensuring your kadhai lasts for years to come.

By considering your cooking needs and choosing the appropriate type of Kadai, you’ll surely have a valuable addition to your kitchen that will enhance your culinary experience.

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