You've discovered the joy of making authentic Indian takeaway curry at home, and you've made a lot! Now, we might have a problem… If you've made a lot of curry, you'll want to know if you can freeze curry sauce? Well, don't worry because we've got the answer… Read on to find out more.
Want the short answer to can you freeze curry sauce?
The answer is yes, you can freeze curry sauce! So, you can make it in bulk and then keep it for use at a later date in your curries! In fact, curry tastes better when it has gone cold and is reheated…
But, there are a few guidelines and best practices that you have to follow. Read on to find out more….
Can You Freeze Curry Sauce? | What you need to know.
The beauty of making curry is that in just a few minutes, you'll be able to make your favorite Indian meal easily (and at a fraction of the price of a takeaway!)
I'll be honest…
Making base gravy or curry sauce can take a little time. The good news is that by making a large batch and freezing it, you've created the building blocks for a tasty curry every night of the week.
Here are some of the advantages to freezing curry sauce: -
- Curry on demand
- You save time
- You save money. Making in bulk is far cheaper
- Your curry tastes better (see below)
- Your freezer becomes more efficient (seriously)
Not bad, eh?
Yes, you can freeze curry sauce. Here's how
How to Freeze Curry Sauce | A Step-by-Step Guide
So, you've just made a job lot of the perfect base gravy… That's a lot of curry potential right there… But unless you are cooking 20 curries, you are going to need to store it. Here's a step-by-step guide.
It's super simple…
Allow Your Curry Sauce to Cool
Before you even think about storage, you will have to let that curry sauce cool right down. Preferably to room temperature.
Well, there are a few reasons
- Avoiding the 'danger zone'… According to the food standards agency, bacteria that can cause food poisoning grows most quickly at temperatures between 8°C and 60°C. If you place hot piping hot food in the freezer, you might create a perfect 'window' for bacteria to form
- Hot food and cold freezers don't mix… Here's the thing about freezers. They are cold. If you have gone crazy and made 5 litres of hot base gravy and put it straight in the freezer, it could cause a significant temperature rise and lead to other food becoming partially defrosted.
Divide Your Curry Sauce into Portions
It would make little sense to freeze the entire portion as one huge batch. The aim of freezing curry sauce is to be able to create a single portion of curry whenever you choose. I like to freeze my curry base gravy sauce in individual portions in one of the following ways: -
- Metal takeaway dishes. These are great as you can write on the lid. I normally put the date it was created, so I can keep my 'stock' nicely rotated.
- Polystyrene cups. This isn't the most environmentally friendly, but I find that they are super convenient as I don't have to measure out 1 cup of curry sauce each time I'm making a curry
- Freezer bags. This is a great option. Just ladle out a couple of cups into each bag.
Freeze Your Curry Sauce
Once you have cooled and portioned up your curry sauce, it is time to put it in the freezer. If you have used takeaway dishes, I never stack them more than two high.
The combined weight of the containers above can squash the bottom container. Unless you want to spend your weekend cleaning frozen curry sauce off your freezer shelves, don't go higher than two containers per shelf.
If you are using freezer bags, try and stack them so the bags aren't wrinkled. It's easier to get your frozen curry 'cube' out if it hasn't frozen around folds in the bag. A single layer on a freezer shelf should do it.
Reheating Frozen Curry Sauce
Obviously, at some point, you will want to reheat your curry base sauce. There are a couple of ways you can do this.
- Microwave. Place your frozen curry sauce in a microwaveable dish and give it a ping for around 2 minutes (oh and don't try and microwave a metallic takeaway container). You don't need the curry sauce to be hot at this point, just melted.
- In a pan. I find this the easiest way. For each cup of frozen curry sauce, add a cup of water. Then place on medium heat. It's easier because it uses less equipment (so less washing up), and you end up with a gently simmering pan of curry sauce, ready to use in creating a curry.
How Long can you Keep Homemade Curry Sauce?
Here's some great news.
Frozen homemade curry sauce lasts pretty much indefinitely. The health and safety guidelines would indicate a month as a limit. If you leave it too long, it does become frost-damaged. But that said, I've found frozen cubes of curry sauce that are 6 months old and used them with no adverse effects.
If you aren't freezing your curry sauce, the maximum time homemade curry sauce will stay good is no greater than a couple of days.
Why do Curries Taste Better the Next Day?
Most foods with a sauce tend to taste better the next day. If you freeze curry sauce and reheat it, you'll find that your curry is much better tasting. And it isn't just me saying that… The Times of India agrees!
Your recipes are actually a series of chemical reactions. If you paid attention in science class (we didn't; hence we end up scrubbing pots in an Indian kitchen), you'd know that time is a key factor in chemical reactions and changes. This is exactly what is happening with your curry.
The flavors and compounds within your curry have more time to soak in and meld together. If you cook, say, a lamb madras. The meat is sitting in the sauce and marinates. Marinated meat tastes nicer than not.
Further to this, you are triple cooking your food. You cook the curry sauce. You cook your curry using the sauce. You freeze your curry. And you reheat it and cook it again! Triple-cooked curry? Yes, please!
Can you Freeze and Reheat curry?
Yes, of course, you can. Curry is no different than any other 'normal' dish like lasagna or stew! However, here's a couple of important points to note.
- I wouldn't freeze and reheat a takeaway curry. It generally isn't good to freeze cooked food that has been frozen before. You won't know whether takeaway food has been cooked and frozen before it arriving on your doorstep. Having worked in an Indian kitchen, it does happen. Better not to risk it.
- Only reheat homemade cooked frozen food once. From there you've got two options. Eat it, or throw it away.
So can you freeze curry sauce? The answer is a resounding yes! And in most cases, you'll find that your curry actually tastes better! Amazing! By freezing portions of curry sauce, you can make your favourite curry whenever you like.