A tava (sometimes also tawa) is a large, flat or slightly concave disc-shaped griddle, made from cast iron, steel or aluminium. It is used in Indian cuisine to prepare several kinds of roti or Indian breads, including chapatis and parathas, chaap, pao bhaaji, chaat, tava parathas, etc.
Some Tava have handles and some are without.
Tavas and Electric Stove
If you are using an Electric Stove then it is best to have a flat tava ( you get the non-stick Tavas which are completely flat ). The Flat Tavas are also used for making Dosas.
The trouble you would face is that these non-sticks tavas are very light weight and are made of aluminium, and when used on an electric stove you would experience that while cooking a roti, suddenly the tava is not so hot as the elecric stove has a temperature cutout , which means that when the temperature reaches to the set limit, the electricity may get cut off and it tend to get colder, causing frustration and delays while cooking rotis .
On the other hand if you have a thick cast iron made traditional tava, it will retain the heat and would not cool off.
For the Gas stoves the curved tava is recommended.
For Electric Stoves it is better to have a flat based skillet or non stick flat tawa. A Pancake Skillet is also great.