Curry is a very popular dish. It has origins in Indian and Thai cookery, as well as in other parts of South-East Asia. There are many varieties of curry including meat, fish, and vegetables. In traditional cuisines, the selection of spices for each dish is a matter of national or regional cultural tradition. However, curry is now found all over the world and you can find many different recipes out there. The great thing about curry is that it helps to maintain a healthy heart condition and a low blood sugar level.
So you make a big pot of curry and have some leftover or you order a takeaway and it’s too big. What do you do with the leftovers? It’s a terrible waste to throw it away. However, you can freeze curry and then enjoy it at a later date. In this article we will be taking a look at how to freeze curry and how to defrost it.
You can freeze most types of curries. All types of meat such as beef, chicken, and lamb freeze well. Most vegetable curries work well apart from those that contain potatoes. Potatoes tend to go mushy when frozen. It is not advisable to freeze curry containing light cream, yogurt, or coconut cream as it splits and separates easily in the freezer.
Here are the steps you should follow if you want to freeze curry.
- Cool the curry. It is essential to cool down the curry before you freeze it. If you don’t, the warm curry will bring the temperature up in the freezer and other food may start defrosting and spoiling.
- Put the curry into containers. If you have a lot of curry to freeze, it is a good idea to freeze it into meal-size portions so that you don’t waste any. Put it into airtight containers and seal the lids. It is important that the containers are airtight otherwise freezer burn may occur. The curry will still be safe to eat but it will lose flavor and texture.
- Label the containers. It is important to put a label on your containers with the date frozen so that you don’t keep the curry for longer than its shelf-life. It is also useful to write what is in the container especially if you are freezing different curries. Once you’ve done this, you can put them in the freezer.
Tips for Freezing Curries
- Use containers, not freezer bags. This may seem obvious, but it isn’t a good idea to freeze curry in freezer bags in case they split. You really don’t want curry all over the other items in the freezer. Curry has a strong scent and you will smell it for weeks. You will smell the curry as well even if the plastic bags are used and don’t split as bags aren’t as flavor-secure as containers are.
- Flavor Change. The longer you freeze curry for the more intense the flavors will become. Be aware that you are going to have a spicier curry than the one you put in the freezer. So if you put in a madras, you will probably end up with a vindaloo.
- Reheating meat curry. If you are reheating meat curry you will need to ensure that the meat has reached a safe temperature. This should be 165F otherwise you could be in danger of food poisoning.
How Long Can You Keep Curry In the Freezer?
You can freeze curry for three months. After this time the curry may not be as tasty. It will also be very intense in flavor and may even be inedible.
The best way to defrost curry is to defrost it in the fridge overnight. This method prevents the curry from reaching a high temperature which will accommodate bacterial growth possibly leading to food poisoning. If you don’t want to wait this long, you can defrost it at room temperature, but make sure that you do this for no longer than two hours and that you use it immediately. You can also defrost it in the microwave, but again use it straight away.
You can’t refreeze curry. If it has meat in it, it isn’t safe and can lead to food poisoning. The best thing to do is to freeze what you need for a meal in a separate container.
Is it a Good Idea to Freeze Curry?
Yes, curry freezes well except, as we have said, curries with potatoes in them and ones with coconut cream and yogurt. You just have to remember that the curry will intensify in flavor the longer it is kept in the freezer so if you don’t like very spicy curries perhaps freezing isn’t for you. However, if you do, curry is a great thing to have in the freezer for an easy meal when you don’t feel like cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully this article has given you plenty of information about freezing curry, but if you have any questions, we have answered a few here.
What Types of Curries Can you Freeze?
Most curries freeze well because they have plenty of liquid to cover the meat or vegetables and this reduces the risk of freezer burn. Tomato and stock-based curries freeze particularly well.
Can you Freeze Dahl?
Dahl is a lentil curry and it freezes exceptionally well. It is important to cool it down to room temperature before you freeze it otherwise it can go rancid. You can freeze it for up to six months. Dahl takes a while to cook so it is a good idea to cook it in bulk and then freeze it.
Can you Freeze a Curry Takeaway?
It isn’t unusual to overorder a takeaway (see also ‘Can You Freeze Chinese Takeaway?‘) from an Indian restaurant. There are so many delicious dishes so who can resist? So what do you do with the leftovers? That’s easy, freeze the leftovers. Of course you need to make sure that the dishes have cooled down to room temperature, but they probably will have done as you will have eaten a meal. Once cooled, put the dishes into several containers and freeze.