What is a Kadai?
(apart from something really fun…)
A kadai is a traditional cooking bowl, that has been used at weddings, celebrations, festivals and on the streets of India for centuries. Hence the word ‘kadai’ or ‘karai’ (as it is also known) is an indian dish – food not receptical in this instance – is where we get the english word ‘curry’. A kadai is traditionally made from shaped metal plates riveted together by hand using age old techniques and tools. A fire was lit beneath the kadai and a curry cooked inside it. The size of the kadai used was dictated by the number of people that needed to be fed.
A very clever fellow (Christo) realised that if you could have a fire underneath, you could also put one inside. He developed a range of stands for the kadai to sit on and the kadai firepit was born! Once he made grills to sit in the kadai, it then also became a barbecue. Then followed an ever expanding range of cookware that means you can now pretty much cook anything outside on a kadai that you can in a conventional indoor kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions
The filter is to let water out. This means you to leave your kadai out in all weathers.
Your kadai is made from mild steel, which is an organic material, so it will react to the humidity in the air. The surface of your kadai will rust, but this is easily removed at the end of each season with the wire brush provided. You will need to re-oil your kadai once a year with a food based oil to replenish the metal. This will give it an ageing patina, which gives the kadai its own unique character.
We recommend you put 10cm of grit sand in your kadai. This helps to spread the heat evenly around your kadai, protects it from being in direct contact with hot embers and prevents the ground beneath from scortching, even when your kadai sits on a low or tudor stand. Your grass, patio, deck will remain undamaged.
It depends what you burn. We recommend you burn lumpwood charcoal or charcoal briquettes if you are cooking on your kadai, and seasoned logs when using it as a firepit. Cooking on wood is a difficult and dark art, and takes some practice!
Only if you have the fire close to the edges. To prevent this keep your fire away from direct contact with the sides.