The strong and mighty cast iron pan!
A couple of years ago, I had made an appointment at a new hospital in Cochin. I was an excited new mum-to-be and there was not a day when I didn't read up on 'things to expect'. The hospital reception had a leaflet for pregnant women that caught my attention. It mentioned, "Do not use new non-stick pans for cooking." This got me reading up on a scary mine of information about how PTFE and PFOA fumes were produced by non-stick pans. Nonstick cookware is considered safe only if it is used properly, which means no over-heating, no scratches, no cooking without proper ventilation etc. That was also the time that I discovered cast iron pans. I've always watched my grandmother whip up fluffy tasty Dosas (fermented rice-batter) on her trusty cast iron pans.
I have a cast iron wok for curries and a cast iron pan from IKEA that I use for pancakes, dosas and eggs. The pre-seasoned pans have been the easiest to use in my experience. Cast iron is nearly indestructible. Which means you don't need to replace them every 5 years. They are also a beneficial source of iron, although the quantity of iron that is absorbed by the food is debatable. The bottom line is that you'll end up consuming some extra iron when you cook with cast iron in general. If seasoned well, cast iron is non-stick. Which means less oil for cooking. My pans are easy to clean. I just wipe the pan while it is still warm and rinse it in hot water. Pat it dry, heat it up on the stove and wipe the surface with some oil. Done!