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Iron tawa, also known as a cast iron griddle, is a versatile and essential kitchen tool that has been used in Indian households for generations. The iron tawa is perfect for making a variety of dishes, including chapati, dosa, and roti. However, before you can start cooking on your iron tawa, it's important to season it properly to prevent rusting and to maintain its non-stick properties.
First, wash the tawa with warm water and mild detergent, making sure to remove any debris or rust. Then, dry the tawa thoroughly with a soft cloth. Next, you'll need to season the tawa. This process creates a protective layer on the iron that will help prevent rusting and provide a non-stick surface. To season your tawa, you can use a cooking oil of your choice, such as vegetable or canola oil.
Take a small amount of oil and spread it evenly over the surface of the tawa, making sure to cover all areas. You can use a pastry brush to ensure that the oil is evenly distributed. Once the tawa is evenly coated, place it in an oven set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and let it bake for about an hour. Make sure to place a sheet of foil or parchment paper under the tawa to catch any excess oil. After an hour, turn off the oven and let the tawa cool down inside. Repeat this process 2-3 more times, each time baking for an hour, to properly season the tawa.
After the tawa is seasoned and cooled, it's ready for use! But, it's important to remember to maintain it properly to ensure its longevity.
It's always a good idea to clean the tawa immediately after use, while it's still warm. Scrap off any leftover food and use warm water and mild detergent to clean the tawa. Avoid using steel wool or abrasive materials, as they can damage the seasoning on the tawa. Once cleaned, dry the tawa with a soft cloth and then apply a thin layer of oil to the surface to protect it from rust.
It's also important to note that, like any cast iron cookware, the iron tawa should never be washed in the dishwasher or soaked in water for an extended period of time, as it can cause rusting.
If you notice any rust on your tawa, you can remove it by using a mixture of coarse salt and oil and scrubbing the surface gently with a steel wool or scrubber. Once all the rust is removed, wash the tawa with warm water and mild detergent, and dry it thoroughly. Remember to re-season the tawa with oil to prevent rust from forming again.
It's also important to note that, when cooking on an iron tawa, you should avoid using metal utensils as they can scratch and damage the surface. Instead, use wooden or plastic utensils to avoid any scratches.
Lastly, to avoid rusting and maintain its non-stick properties, It's always a good idea to store your iron tawa in a dry place, such as a kitchen cabinet or pantry. Avoid storing it in damp places or outside as this can cause rusting.
In conclusion, taking care of your iron tawa is essential to ensure its longevity and maintain its non-stick properties. By properly seasoning your tawa, cleaning it immediately after use, and storing it in a dry place, you can ensure that it will last for many years to come and make delicious meals.