A “kadai,” also spelled as “karahi” or “kadhai,” is a type of deep, thick-bottomed, and circular cooking vessel or wok commonly used in Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi cuisine. The term “kadai” can also refer to the dishes cooked in this vessel. Kadai dishes are popular in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian cooking.
The kadai is typically made from various materials, including cast iron, stainless steel, copper, or non-stick-coated materials. It has two distinctive features:
- Shape: Kadais have a deep and slightly flared shape with sturdy, looped handles on both sides. This shape makes it ideal for stir-frying, deep-frying, and cooking curries with a lot of sauce.
- Use: Kadais are versatile cooking vessels. They are commonly used for sautéing, stir-frying, and deep-frying because their deep shape allows for efficient heat distribution. They are also used for simmering and slow-cooking dishes like curries and gravies. In some cases, they are used for making sweets and desserts as well.
Kadai dishes can include a wide range of recipes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Some popular examples of kadai dishes include “Kadai Paneer” (cottage cheese cooked with bell peppers and a tomato-based sauce), “Kadai Chicken” (chicken cooked with bell peppers and aromatic spices), and “Kadai Vegetable” (a mixed vegetable curry). The term “kadai” is often used to describe dishes that are prepared in this type of cooking vessel, and it’s a style of cooking known for its bold flavours and aromatic spices.
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