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Where did all the Karahi/Indian Woks go?

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Taffyjer Sep 19, 2009 09:15 PM

I bought a Calphalon Karahi/Indian Wok about 3 years ago. Unfortunately, a friend, thinking he was doing me a favor washing up after a dinner party, used wire wool and scraped off some of the surface of the base of the pan. Calphalon no longer sells the product, but I cannot even find a good Karahi alternative (high quality). Even All-Clad and Le Creuset's versions have been discontinued. I've googled and found reference to all of the above, but as soon as I link to the site, there's nothing. And yet, I see that Indian Cuisine is more popular than ever -- perhaps only in restaurants!! I would be ecstatic for any info on where I could find any of the above or a similar high quality alternative. Thanks.

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  1. JiyoHappy RE: Taffyjer Sep 20, 2009 02:38 AM

    Indian grocery stores have non-coated aluminum or steel karahis. I personally prefer brass with Ni plating . The best karahis ( & handis) I have are the ones I brought back from India.
    Where are you located ?

    10 Replies
    1. re: JiyoHappy
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      Taffyjer RE: JiyoHappy Sep 20, 2009 09:44 AM

      I'm in SF (but British). I've come across the aluminium ones but there are too many health issues with the metal. And the stainless steel ones in Indian grocery stores seem too flimsy. I'll have to do what you have done, and try from India. Thanks for your advice.

      1. re: Taffyjer
        Joe Blowe RE: Taffyjer Sep 20, 2009 11:46 AM

        There are no health issues with aluminum.

        1. re: Joe Blowe
          t
          Taffyjer RE: Joe Blowe Sep 20, 2009 12:32 PM

          You're probably right.

          1. re: Taffyjer
            JiyoHappy RE: Taffyjer Sep 20, 2009 04:04 PM

            There are some stores in Santa Clara on ElCamino Real, which have heavy bottom thick karahis. I do not like the stainless-steel ones but dig iron ( actually high carbon steel) which are usually black in color.Try Bharat Bazaar and New India Bazaar . If you need something for shallow frying / sauteing only, go for a deep , very heavy iron tava.

            1. re: JiyoHappy
              t
              Taffyjer RE: JiyoHappy Sep 22, 2009 08:18 AM

              Thanks so much. Really appreciate your advice. I get to Santa Clara quite a lot for work. So now I'll take a side trip. Cheers!

          2. re: Joe Blowe
            g
            grant.cook RE: Joe Blowe Sep 23, 2009 07:17 AM

            If you are concerned about aluminum, stop using anti-perspirants..you get far more from that than your pans..

            1. re: grant.cook
              Joe Blowe RE: grant.cook Sep 23, 2009 08:19 AM

              I assume you're responding to Taffyjer; and, yes, I agree with you.

              The OP should also avoid restaurants. Guess what type of cookware they're using? (Hint: it ain't All-Clad!)

              1. re: grant.cook
                Chemicalkinetics RE: grant.cook Sep 23, 2009 01:37 PM

                What about soft drinks? Aren't soft drink can made out of aluminum?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  t
                  Taffyjer RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 24, 2009 02:16 PM

                  OK, I get the hint. Didn't mean to upset so many aluminium fans. Surprised my spelling didn't get shot down, too ;-)

                  I guess the rumour stuck with me more than others. Although, fascinating metal. Just read up on wiki about it. Napolean III prized it more than gold. Only his very special guests got to eat from utensils made from it.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    Sid Post RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 24, 2012 06:28 AM

                    "What about soft drinks? Aren't soft drink can made out of aluminum?"

                    Soda and Beer cans are lined with plastic just like vegetable cans.

          3. q
            qwerty78 RE: Taffyjer Sep 23, 2009 08:29 AM

            I think the all clad version is still available-

            link: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

            I have my eye on this as well (though i don't have the storage room!)

            1 Reply
            1. re: qwerty78
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              Taffyjer RE: qwerty78 Sep 24, 2009 02:20 PM

              Thanks qwerty. I saw that one, only it seems a lot smaller -- just 10". The old one was 13". I even tried through Australia where it was still available until last year. Only for some reason they wouldn't mail it to me despite my offering to pay whatever it cost (and the pan was much cheaper, too).

            2. f
              fulloflife RE: Taffyjer Oct 1, 2009 04:31 PM

              I, too have been looking for this item. I placed an order at my local and very excellent kitchen shop and have been getting the runaround for two months. It was to be a wedding gift. I went to the All-Clad site and it lists the Karahi as a new product. Have you found it yet? I really want this for my friend, tried buying local, but will now buy from anywhere.

              1. j
                juliabobbie RE: Taffyjer Nov 28, 2009 10:43 AM

                Does anyone know what the Le Creuset karahi set costs (if you can find one)? Or what it DID cost? Thank you!

                1. Paulustrious RE: Taffyjer Nov 28, 2009 11:08 AM

                  In you profile if you give your location it will help people help you. Here in Toronto we have a 'Little India'. They have plenty of karahis at the cookware shops. You can always recognise them as you drive past; they have alumin(i)um cooking pots that range in size from 'normal' to a bathtub.

                  The Nickel coated brass ones are readily available at our local spots.

                  1. c
                    cookware junkie RE: Taffyjer Mar 30, 2011 12:51 AM

                    Looky, Looky, a carbon steel Karahi!

                    http://www.theasiancookshop.co.uk/kar...

                    1. j
                      juliabobbie RE: Taffyjer Apr 18, 2011 07:06 PM

                      A year and 1/2 ago, I asked if anyone could tell me what a Le Creuset karahi set might be worth. I have one (still in the box), and I'll never use it. I'd like to sell it in our small retail store or list it on ebay, but I don't have a clue how to price it. (I'm NOT trying to sell it here--I know that's not what this forum is for.) I think it's a set of three. I might also have a single Le Creuset karahi wok. Can anyone help me find out what these are worth? Thanks very much!

                      Julie

                      1. w
                        Westy RE: Taffyjer Apr 19, 2011 05:47 AM

                        Interesting thread. Having ben to India a number of times (and learned to appreciate the Chinese/Indian fusion cuisine), I had not noticed eiter the woks or tava. Can anyone tell me the difference between an Indian wok and a flat bottomed Chinese wok? Any appreciable differences?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Westy
                          Chemicalkinetics RE: Westy Apr 19, 2011 07:01 AM

                          From a pure cookware point of view, there are small differences between an Indian Karahi (or Kadhai) and a Chinese wok. Usually, a Karahi has a bit more curvature and deeper than a Chinese wok

                          The more significant part is how these people use the cookware. Karahi tends to be used for more saucy dishes and slow cooking, and sometime also used for deep and swallow frying of foods. The entire Karahi can be used to fill up foods. In a way, it is similar to how many people use a Dutch Oven for.

                          http://www.google.com/search?q=karahi...

                          A Chinese wok is most famous for stir-fry -- a very high heat and fast cooking style. Due to the high heat and required speed, foods should never fill a wok and tossing foods is an essential part of stir fry. Here is an example of stir-frying in a wok

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehgnv3...

                          Pushing foods slowly around a wok is not really stir frying. That is just "pan frying." You can do that in a frying pan or a skillet. Stir fry is different technique.

                          In short, you can probably interchange a Karahi with a Wok from a cookware point of view, but it is the "implied" cooking techniques that makes them very different.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            w
                            Westy RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 19, 2011 07:47 AM

                            Got it. Thanks. My (Taiwanese) mother in law uses what looks like an F-14 engine to blast her steel wok. Hers is round-bottomed (the stand has three metal points to allow the bottom to be directly over the flame). I get the difference - Indian woks sound a little more for cooking a meal using sauces. I can see where it can be very versatile. Thanks again.
                            Matt

                            1. re: Westy
                              Chemicalkinetics RE: Westy Apr 19, 2011 10:21 AM

                              Sounds like your mother-in-law has a very nice setup there for Chinese cooking. Are you going to get a Karahi (Indian wok) to show off your Indian cooking to her?

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                Jay F RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 19, 2011 10:51 AM

                                CK - I might like to give a karahi to a friend as a gift. Do you think this is a good one?

                                http://www.theasiancookshop.co.uk/kar...

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  w
                                  Westy RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 19, 2011 12:17 PM

                                  I hope they can gethere next summer. Foir a serious country girl, my MiL is a pretty adventurous eater, so i would say yes, I will.
                                  Her kitchen has the one super hot burner, a hot plate, three knives, a few spoons, and pots and pans she picked up through the years at night markets. And she cooks darn near everything from scratch. Amazing. Makjes me shake my head when I read what people think they need to turn out great food.

                          2. s
                            seiun RE: Taffyjer May 24, 2012 08:10 PM

                            Be careful what you buy. Chinese steel is often contaminated with Cobalt-60 (the Chinese see nothing wrong with incorporating a recycled medical device or two into their steel). Same with Indian steel. Get a quality product from a reputable company--it's worth the extra cost.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: seiun
                              b
                              bmorecupcake RE: seiun Jul 24, 2012 04:24 AM

                              Do you have a source for this information?

                              1. re: bmorecupcake
                                Sid Post RE: bmorecupcake Jul 24, 2012 06:38 AM

                                http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-col...
                                http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Maga...
                                http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publicat...
                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobalt-60

                                1. re: Sid Post
                                  b
                                  bmorecupcake RE: Sid Post Jul 24, 2012 09:19 AM

                                  I didn't see anything there to implicate karahis from India. Am I missing something?

                                  1. re: bmorecupcake
                                    k
                                    khuzdul RE: bmorecupcake Jul 25, 2012 10:10 AM

                                    No, I don't think you are.

                                    Four reports of such incidents going back to 1983, one occurred regarding scrap metal in the U.S.A., one in Turkey, one in France (by way of China), and one in Thailand. Two of the incidents never made it past the backyard scrap dis-assembly phase. One incident to the casting stage of manufacturing. Only one resulted in the metal making it into a consumer product.

                                    Laws were broken in regards to each countries nuclear regulatory agency, and the events were so unusual that the IAEA writes them up as case studies.

                                    Because of this, now we gotta avoid Chinese and Indian steel as obviously their steel is commonly contaminated with Cobolt-60. China, which did have an incident, accounts for ~44% of the world steel production and is in everything from cars, computers, household appliances, street signs, manhole (personhole!) covers etc. India, which did not have an incident, is another ~5-6% of the world production of steel, and which we are supposed to avoid.

                                    The U.S.A., which did have an incident, accounts for ~6-7% is apparently still on the good list of quality steel in reputable companies products we can buy.

                                    The logic is inescapable. Resistance is futile. We WILL comply.

                                    1. re: khuzdul
                                      b
                                      bmorecupcake RE: khuzdul Jul 25, 2012 10:24 AM

                                      Thanks for this writeup. I'm having a karahi brought back for me from Pakistan, and I specifically requested it be made either in Pakistan or India, so was a little worried.

                                      1. re: bmorecupcake
                                        k
                                        khuzdul RE: bmorecupcake Jul 25, 2012 11:01 AM

                                        Are they flying it back on a commercial flight? Then... Good news everyone! If the kadai does make it to you, then your kadai is not radioactive.

                                        If it was, then the person bringing it back for you will set off the radiation detection alarms either at the remote airport, or while going through INS/Customs in the U.S.A., they would have to spend a few hours in a featureless, uncomfortable, and windowless room. Once they are cleared from nefarious intent, the offending kadai would then be seized for destruction.

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