What is a Balti Dish?

Found in several different languages including Hindustani and Bengali, the word Balti, meaning 'bucket', was originally derived from “balde”, the Portuguese word for 'pail' or 'bucket'. According to scholars, the word Balti can be traced back to Northern Pakistan’s Baltistan, where a cast-iron pan similar to the woks used by the Chinese is employed for cooking traditional dishes.

Balti dishes, also called karahi, are today used in Indian restaurants and homes all around the world to both make and serve Balti curry.

These dishes are easily identified by the pot’s round-bottomed shape and two rounded handles and can be made from many different materials. While some Karahi are suited to cooking, others have been designed in a decorative fashion simply for serving dishes at the table.

In the following sections, we’ll look at some of the materials that dishes are manufactured from and discuss their advantages, but first, we’ll have a look at what’s traditionally involved in Balti-style cooking.

Ingredients of a Balti Curry

As well as being cookware, Balti is also the name traditionally given to a kind of goat meat or lamb meat curry that is served up in a dish made of thinly pressed steel, sometimes called a Balti bowl. This name is presumed to have evolved from the metal dishes used for cooking the curries, instead of a particular cooking technique or special ingredient. Balti curries are usually cooked very quickly with vegetable oil instead of clarified butter like ghee, over high heats that are typically used for stir-frying. This technique contrasts with traditional single-pot Indian curries where food is slowly simmered throughout the day. The sauce for a Balti curry uses onions and garlic along with spices like garam masala and turmeric.

Black iron Balti dishes

Buy Black Iron Balti / KarahiBlack iron karahi or Balti dishes are exceptionally durable pans well known for their evenly distributed heat conduction. As round pots for cooking, they have a flat base and sides that are thick and deep. Traditionally this kind of cookware was used for both deep and shallow frying, but its even heat conductivity qualities make it a perfect solution for cooking curries and a wide range of other Indian cuisines.

Black iron cookware that has been seasoned also benefits from having non-stick properties. This can have added health benefits for those who wish to reduce the amount of oil they use during cooking, as far less is needed. Additionally, iron Balti dishes are also highly compatible for use with induction hobs. For a traditional flavour to gatherings, they are also sometimes used to serve food at the table.

Buy Copper Balti Serving Dishes / KarahiCopper Balti dishes

Cooper bottomed Balti dishes make stunning centrepieces on dining tables, but they also have many benefits for professional and amateur chefs alike who are cooking up curries. Extremely lightweight, these dishes can be a real pleasure to cook with and are easy to manoeuvre.

Copper is also incredibly conductive, which means that those looking to cook quickly will be well-served. Copper Balti dishes can heat up very rapidly and evenly and will retain heat well, making them ideal for serving up dishes as well.

Buy Stainless Balti Dishes / Karahi Stainless steel Balti dishes

Like cast iron options, stainless steel Balti dishes are built to last and are incredibly durable. However, unlike their iron counterparts, dishes made from stainless steel can be lighter to use. Stainless steel options are easy to care for and keep looking in perfect condition, however, they cannot be pre-seasoned and will require a substantial amount of oil when cooking to avoid food sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Stainless steel dishes work well with all types of stoves, including induction cooking, and can distribute and retain heat well.

Shop Indian Serving DishesIndian serving dishes

While some Balti dishes are suitable for both cooking and serving, others are not. To preserve your cookware in perfect condition and to avoid any damage, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions before use.

Cooksmill have a large choice of Indian Tableware to make your dishes authentic. There are balti dishes, naan stands, karahi, pickle trays and much more to choose from.

Balti dishes for sale at Cooksmill

At Cooksmill, you’ll find a wide range of karahi curry serving dishes readily available. Whether you are looking for a balti dish to cook with or you are looking for a great selection of Indian tableware including serving dishes, pickle trays and naan stands we have everything you could need.

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