Ever cook too much curry? Want to freeze it for another time but aren't sure whether you can? Well here are a few hints about successfully freezing your leftover curry.
The first important thing to do if you want to freeze curry is to make sure your curry is completely cold before you freeze it. If it is still warm you risk food poisoning.
If the curry came from a restaurant or takeaway be sure that it was not made using meat that had been frozen before cooking. You should never freeze meat twice. Most responsible takeaways and restaurants will be happy to provide you with this information if you make a simple phone call and ask.
Next, divide your leftover curry into portions of a suitable size for your own use. If in doubt, make them small, individual portions. It is easy to defrost two small portions if you need more but hard to split one large portion if you need less.
Remember that it really doesn't matter what shape your curry portions are in the freezer. For this reason, you can happily use a few freezer bags or freezer-safe cling film. There is no need to use your best plastic containers!
If you do choose to use plastic containers for freezing your curry, be prepared for the spices in the curry to stain the insides of them. Turmeric is the worst culprit but many spices will give you all sorts of trouble with stains.
If you get stains in your plastic containers, your best chance of removing ithem is to use some of that fluid that mothers use to sterilize their babies' bottles. It won't always work - but it will sometimes. Just dilute it less than it says on the bottle (e.g. if it says use 1 capful to 1 pint of water, make it 2 pints to 1 pint of water) and leave it to soak overnight. This is perfectly safe if you wash the containers after soaking them - you are not a newborn baby after all!
Freeze a curry by all means - but remember to use it within 3 months under normal freezing conditions. It helps if you can write the date of freezing on the bag at the time of freezing. You probably ought to make a note of the type of curry too - once frozen, it can be hard to tell a vindaloo from a korma!
The freezing process acts as a kind of long term marinade so the spices and garlic in the curry will become more intense the longer you leave it. Beware! A Vindaloo that was hot and spicy when it went in will be hotter than fire when it comes out of the freezer after 2 months!
Another effect of freezing is to make the meat and vegetables softer over time. This is another reason for keeping the freezing period down as much as you can.
If you are making a curry yourself specifically for the purpose of freezing it - perhaps in preparation for a celebration etc. - it is advisable to leave the garlic, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves out of the curry. These ingredients don't freeze well and may result in a bitter taste when you defrost the curry - especially if you leave it for a longer time. When it is time to serve the curry, defrost it then fry up the garlic, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in a little ghee then add the curry and heat the whole thing through thoroughly.
Curry-eating is one of the world's great culinary pleasures. Following these instructions will just prolong the enjoyment!
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After traveling worldwide for over 25 years I think it is safe to say I know a few things about curry among other things. I am now the owner of http://www.currysafari.com where I share my passion for the food of the Gods.