As many of us have switched to iron cook ware , or in the process of converting from non stick to iron , i thought i should share my experience and how i keep my iron tava good and well seasoned for making dosas. I do use non stick pan rarely when my regular iron dosa pans are waiting to be re seasoned or in need of a good wash and scrub. I have a good long lasting brand of non stick which is safe to use, yet there is a sense of discomfort every time i use one . We all know about the health benefits of using iron cookware so i will not repeat that here.
Procedure to season all kinds of iron dosa tava/ dosa kallu / iron kadai, pan, woks .
Seasoning of iron dosa tava / dosa kallu , woks and pans
1. first clean the new pan or old used but neglected pans, with metal scrub and remove all the old particles, that may be stuck to the rim of the tava , flaky scales or foods that were cooked and have left a thick cake like substance all over the rim , these will soften after soaking in water overnight . ,
2. next wipe dry completely and heat the pan or any iron utensil, kadai or wok , to very high , allow to cool , then clean and scrub well with salt , lime juice mixed with castor oil or coconut oil , allow to rest for 12 hours .make sure to spread this scrub , all over , leave it overnight in a sink of starch water or a tray or basin , of starch water , for.12 -24 hours ,
3. next day , remove pan from basin , and now wash with liquid soap and a smooth sponge , keep washing and rinsing till the black stickiness goes away completely , may need to wash 5-6 times..in case of previously well seasoned pans , the work may not be so difficult as only the previous stains have to be removed, but in case of new pans, the struggle is worth later ,as once the tava gets seasoned well, continuous use will keep the the patina intact . do not use metal scrub for second wash after using the oil and salt scrub.
4.next heat the dosa tava/ dosa kallu / iron pan / kadai to keep it dry and there is no moisture ..even wiping with cloth will not make it dry completely , so better to heat it on high and allow to cool , now the final part of seasoning.
5.let the tava get heated up well , add 1 tbsp oil , spread it around the tava/ dosa kallu / kadai , then cook onions , spread all over , remove from the tava, discard the cooked onions , and wipe well now .prepare a dosa…initially it may break , make two dosas and you will get perfect dosa from third one … now start a new dish if using a seasoned kadai .., initially dont cook acidic foods,like tomatoes, lime , till kadai is used well for some time..
1. always keep the tava washed , rinsed , without soap, then heated very high or allow to sun dry completely , there should be no moisture to prevent rust formation .avoid using soap as it will remove the seasoning .
2. make sure to wipe well after every use and season it when you notice the difficulty in making perfect dosas, tava has to be seasoned regularly .but the procedure later on will be more like maintenance and need not follow all the steps.
3. when you store the tava, make sure to keep it covered with a lid or paper as it attracts dust , gently rinse , before each use.
4. also be sure that the tava is placed on a shelf that is completely dry and has no moisture .
5. last but not the least , make sure to use the iron dosa tava, kadai, woks , every day and as much as possible so that it gets better with use and your health benefits too . keep a separate tava for dosa and another one for parathas and chapatis .here is a quick video with details about the procedure to season a dosa kallu./ iron dosa tava or any iron vessels or kadai .
Last but not the least..keep using the iron cookware .
Am giving below a recipe using millets