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A tava(h), tawa(h), tapa, saj, or sac is a large flat, concave or convex disc-shaped frying pan (dripping pan/ flat skillet/ griddle) made from metal, usually sheet iron, cast iron, sheet steel or aluminium. It is used in South, Central, and West Asia, as well as in the Caucasus, for cooking a variety of flatbreads and as a frying pan. It also sometimes refers to ceramic frying pan.
In nearly all Indo-Aryan languages such as Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu tawaa means cooking pan and is used in the Indian subcontinent. It is cognate with the Persian word tāve (تاوه), which is used in Iran, and with the Georgian tapa (ტაფა); while the name saj ((صاج) in Arabic, lit. sheet-metal) and written saç or sac in Turkish is used in Southwest Asia, with overlap in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The word tava is also used in Bosnian, Croatian, Romanian and Turkish and refers to any kind of frying pan. In Bulgaria, flat ceramic сач or сачѐ (sach/sache) are used for table-top cooking of thin slices of vegetables and meat; тава (tava), on the other hand, are metal baking dishes with sides. In Pashto it is more popularly known as Tabakhey (تبخے/طبخی).
Tawa(h) / Tava(h) / Taba(h) is originally a Persian word derived from the word of "Taab" (تاب, meaning warmth / heat). It means something that emits heat. From the same word of Taab , the verb of "Taabidan" (تابیدن ), meaning "to emit heat and/or light", has been derived in Persian.
A tava or saj is used to bake a variety of leavened and unleavened flatbreads and pancakes across the broad region: pita, naan, saj bread, roti, chapati, paratha, dosa, and pesarattu. In Pakistan, especially in rural areas, large convex saj are used to cook several breads at a same time or to make rumali roti.
A Palestinian woman baking markook on a saj in a West Bank village
A roti being baked on a tava
Gözleme, a filled bread, being baked on a sac
Meat is also cooked on a saj. The traditional Georgian chicken tapaka is cooked on a tapa.
Aloo chaat being cooked in a large tava