Nothing can beat the combination of aloo-puri, chai-pakora, chutney-samosas, and many more when it comes to Indian fried food. To make these mouth-watering dishes, you need a good quality deep-fry pan or what we often call ‘Kadai.’
However, it can be a little tricky to get your desired product because of the variety of options available in the market. If you’re the one who researches before purchasing, you will like the buying guide with proper reasoning that we have prepared on the best Kadai for cooking, and we've included top brands with the best price or budget for you, Prestige, Hawkins, Zishta, and more.
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Table of Contents
Deep-fry pans can vary based on their size, shape, and material used. There are also other specifications you may want to check, such as the handle length and whether the utensil is non-stick. It would help if you chose the Kadai which has most of the features you need and matches your cooking style too.
You should choose the size of the Kadai based on how much food you usually make. If you have a family of four, then 2.5 litres Kadai, with a diameter of around 26 cm would do. On the other hand, if you need a Kadai for one or two people, then 1 to 1.5 litres Kadai with a 16 to 22 cm diameter will be fine.
Pans weighing 2.5 litres and above are heavy and take time to heat-up, whereas, 1.5 litres or less are lightweight and gets heated quickly. A longer diameter ensures there’s enough space for heat distribution, and the depth makes sure the food is appropriately deep-fried.
There are various kinds of metals and alloys used for making frying pans, and each of them has different characteristics. The following sections will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of these.
Since deep-frying requires the use of a lot of oil, an aluminium Kadai would be one of the pros as it is corrosion-resistant. It does not react with oil, so it is perfect for those who want to reuse oil. Aluminium types are also usually less expensive, so they’re great for those looking for an affordable option.
However, some cons of using aluminium-based kadai are - since aluminium is much softer compared to other materials, you would have to be careful while cleaning it. Furthermore, it can suffer from scratches and dents easily, it only works on gas stoves, and you cannot wash it in a dishwasher either.
Cast iron has excellent heat conduction and retention properties, second only to those of copper. Kadais made with cast iron are useful because they become non-stick when coated with oil. Although these are moderately priced too, they are relatively easy to clean and durable, so they will last you a long time if used correctly.
While deep-frying, you need a pan which can retain the heat. Cast iron pans not only heats-up quickly, but they also distribute the heat properly, giving you an evenly cooked food which can be one of the pros you shouldn’t miss out on. Moreover, if you are a fan of grilled chicken and fish or even paneer tikka, you can bake or grill them in a cast iron pan.
There are some cons to these types of pans; one of them is their heavyweight. Cast iron pans are not only some of the heaviest on this list; they are also not the best choice for those who want to reuse oil. They will rust if you don’t wash them after one use, degrading the quality of the pan.
Stainless steel Kadai is another great option, especially for those who use induction cooktops, as it is induction safe. The pros of the aluminium type are that it is also corrosion-resistant, so you can reuse the oil, they are dishwasher safe, and easier to clean.
Although, it is essential to note that steel is not the best conductor of heat and doesn’t distribute the heat equally. Due to this unequal distribution of heat, certain areas of the pan become much hotter and can sometimes burn food if you’re not paying close attention while cooking.
Deep-frying as the name says should be deep, so if your Kadai lacks that, you won’t be able to deep-fry the food from both inner and outer areas properly. Ever seen the depth of Kadai a halwai has?
Yes, Indian deep-fried foods need that much depth and width to cook, especially in the case of dishes like samosas, vadas, or even jalebis! Though it might vary depending on the quantity.
A deep-frying pan with enough thickness and depth will also retain more heat, so your food will be less susceptible to burning. For your reference, the average depth of an Indian Kadai is 5 to 6 cm. However, one downside can be that it might take a few more minutes to heat up, thus slowing down your pace of cooking.
There are two types of handles a Kadai can have, one long handle or two shorter ones. The long handle keeps your hands safely away from the hot vessel when you’re holding it, while two smaller ones are better for a sturdier grip because they distribute the weight evenly.
Both of these have their demerits; the longer one can put the load on one hand, making it heavier and slippery. In comparison, the shorter ones put your hands at risk of burning.
Do not get confused with non-stick coating and the type of materials. Non-stick cookware means a layer of Teflon that is coated with materials such as aluminium, cast iron, ceramic, and more so that food does not stick on the surface.
Non-stick Kadais are also easier to clean as you do not need to put too much effort to remove any food that may be stuck, and they use less oil for cooking.
This point might not directly relate to deep-frying, but it is useful when buying a Kadai, as we rarely use a pan for one sole purpose.
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Q56 Futura Non-Stick Kadhai
A Kadai for Joint Families
SmartBuy Induction Bottom Kadhai
A Perfect Choice for Experienced Cooks
Rapid Kadhai 24 cm with Lid
Sturdy Non-Stick Kadai for a Family of 3 to 4 People
Non-Stick Deep-Fry Kadhai
A Kadai that Will Give You Even Heating
Simply Chef Non-Stick Kadhai with Lid
High-Quality Kadai With 2-Year Warranty
Traditional Large Cast Iron Kadhai
Those Who Are Looking for a Traditional Cast Iron Kadai
Vinod Cookware Zest
Induction Bottom Kadhai with Lid
Medium-Size Kadai for 3-4 People
Omega Select Plus Kadai with Lid
A Non-Stick Kadai for Your Puris and Mathis
Induction Bottom Kadhai
A Large Kadai Which Will Work on Both Induction and Gas
Hard Anodised Small Kadai
A Mini and Lightweight Kadai That Can Serve 1 or 2 People
This product is recommended to those who’re looking for a durable Kadai with a round bottom. It is non-stick with a hard anodised material, it heats up quickly, distributes heat evenly, and is easy to clean. It also has two handles, which are made of rosewood, so they not only allow you to have a sturdy grip but also make it more comfortable to hold.
It uses less oil, yes because of the round shape bottom you do not need to use as much oil when you are deep frying items. If you have a joint family of more than six people, then this 4 litres Kadai will save your time as well as gas. Users have called it ‘super easy to clean Kadai,’ however, it is heavy to hold.
One of the best products on the list, this Kadai is non-stick and works both on induction as well as gas stoves. It is made with high-quality aluminium, so it feels quite sturdy. The size of this Kadai is big enough for a family of three to five members, so unless you’re cooking for more people, this should easily suffice.
Its handles are also insulated so you won’t burn your hands while cooking, and since it is made of aluminium, it also heats up relatively quickly. It is the perfect choice for those who have a lot of experience cooking and want to invest in an all-rounder Kadai. Many customers have lauded its non-stick base.
This non-stick Kadai is perfect for a family of 3 to 4 people as it comes with a capacity of 2.6 litres. It is made of aluminium, so it heats up really fast. It doesn’t allow food to stick, which makes it easy to clean as well. It also has insulated handles to make sure you have a firm grip while cooking, and you do not burn yourself.
It is an induction-friendly Kadai, so it would be suitable for those who have induction cooktops and are looking for a Kadai that is not too big. According to the reviewers, this Kadai heats up quickly with induction as well; however, the handles loosen up quite frequently, so you have to tighten them manually.
This Kardai is for those who have less time to cook as 26 cm wide pan can comfortably fry around three normal-size break pakoras in one go with its even heating feature. It is very durable as well, and if maintained properly, will last for a long time. Due to its round bottom, you will not have to use a lot of oil.
This product is compatible only with gas; if you do not have a gas stove, then we do not recommend this one. You would also need to pay close attention while cleaning it to avoid any scratches on the non-stick coating or else it would destroy the pan.
This Kadai is 24cm in diameter, so it is big enough to serve more than 3-4 people, and since it is a non-stick product, it is also really easy to clean. It has two insulated handles, providing a firm grip and keeping your hands from getting burnt. The unique thing about this product is that it comes with a 2-year warranty.
You cannot use metal or spoon ladles on this Kadai because the Teflon coating will get damaged, so it is better to have wooden or silicone ladles.Lastly, the Kadai is not that deep, so you will have to make smaller pieces of samosas, kachoris, or whatever you want to cook so that there are no unfried areas left.
If you’re a fan of the traditional type of Kadais, then this one would be perfect for you! This 1.75 litres cast iron Kadai is big enough for a family of three to four members. It is also durable, and it distributes heat evenly, so there’s almost no chance of burning your food. Additionally, once it’s adequately oiled, it is nearly as good as a non-stick pan.
It heats up quickly, retains heat for longer, and you can use metal spoons with it too. However, due to the material, it weighs almost 3 kgs, making it harder to wash. The handles are not insulated and have a thin shape, so you have to be extra cautious while holding them with a cloth.
This one is for those who need a medium-size but lightweight Kadai to serve at least 3 to 4 people. If your guests visit frequently, you would want to impress them by cooking early, so this Kadai will work at your advantage. It heats up quickly, so you can cook much faster, and it has two insulated handles to make sure you have a firm grip while cooking.
It is also quite deep, so you can deep-fry foods like samosas, and can easily prepare larger quantities of smaller items such as nuggets or fries. Although, if you are buying this Kadai for its non-stick coating, then it might not be the best one. According to the reviewers, the non-stick coating starts coming off after about four to six months.
For those who only fry smaller foods like puris or mathis, and do not need to cook large quantities, this would be the right choice! It has a round base, so you can deep fry without having to use too much oil, while its non-stick coating makes it easy to clean. It works well for those who usually cook for 2-3 people, and do not need a huge one.
If you’re looking for an induction-friendly Kadai, this is not the one for you because it cannot be used on induction cooktops. Also, it is not too deep enough for cooking bigger deep-fried foods like cutlets or chops. However, if you want to cook something else besides frying like poha, regular sabzi, pura, or any other thing, this Kadai with a rounded base is apt.
All those looking for a large stainless steel Kadai which will work on both a gas stove and an induction cooktop should definitely consider this product! It is quite big so it can easily serve up to 6 people. You don’t need to worry about the handles either as they are insulated so they won’t burn your hands.
On the downside though, since this is made of stainless steel, it does not distribute heat evenly, and there is a high chance of your food getting burnt if you’re not careful.
Furthermore, due to its size, it can be pretty heavy and may seem difficult to handle for those who usually do not use heavier utensils. You would also need to use more oil as it has a flat bottom.
This is the only Kadai on the list which will perfectly serve 1 to 2 people with its compact size. Although it is a lightweight product, it is quite sturdy and has insulated or dual handles to make sure your hands are not burnt while cooking. This product is made of hard anodised aluminium, so it heats up quickly.
If you are looking for a Kadai which can serve more than two people though, this isn’t the one for you as it is too small for that. Due to its size, it is also not the best Kadai to prepare bigger deep-fried foods like kachori as they need more space to cook, but you can fry french-fries or aloo tikki easily.
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A kadai may seem like a product you do not need to think much about before buying, but if you want to make sure you buy the perfect product, then you must look at all of the specifications like material - stainless steel for those who prefer induction-based cooking and iron for those who want to get even heat while cooking.
No. 1: Hawkins ｜Q56 Futura Non-Stick Kadhai
No. 2: Flipkart｜SmartBuy Induction Bottom Kadhai
No. 3: Butterfly｜Rapid Kadhai 24 cm with Lid
No. 4: Hawkins ｜Non-Stick Deep-Fry Kadhai
No. 5: Tefal｜Simply Chef Non-Stick Kadhai with Lid
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