How to Season a Kadhai

I’m a massive pan fan to the point of obsession and I always have to justify a new addition to my collection but this one is easy to explain!

You see its not for me – oh no it’s for my grandchildren and their children and probably their children too…..

I spend a lot of time and effort acquiring kitchen equipment made in a traditional manner because the way I see it is that we may be the last generation to benefit from the beauty, knowledge and story telling of these things.

The folks who supplied this one scour the world for hand hammered woks and I was spoilt for choice. Finally I decided this Rajasthan kadhai and I were destined to be together forever.

This pan, which was often given as a dowry, was made in sections by hand because it was expected to last for lifetimes and when it was damaged or worn out a section could be replaced and the pan live on.

Surely we can learn something about the sustainability of the past here?

So excited by the whole story – I bought the pan and it arrived all 7.5 kilos of it – not shiny and packaged like most modern woks but as it should be – rough and ready to be loved.

So here is how I seasoned it:

Firstly I scrubbed the pan with wire wool and vegetable oil – no soap at all. It gets pretty dirty so if you don’t have a big sink you could always do it on grass outside.

Dirty work but somebody has to do it

Then I rinsed it and covered it totally in oil inside and out making sure I got into the nooks and crannies with a pastry brush.



Next I whacked it in the oven at full temperature for an hour. I needed to get all the windows open and the extractor it created lots of smoke!

I turned off the oven and allowed the pan to cool and now I am looking at my gorgeous black and seasoned wok and wondering what to cook first…….

I​’m also hankering after one of their woks with a handle – somebody stop me please!

Carole Mason

Food and Travel - Author of Mae's Ancient Thai Food

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Carole Mason

If you would like to work with me or try my food please get in touch with me at carole@carolemason.co.uk