Mamta's Kitchen

Forum Thread - Freezing Indian food

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jazzy, on 4/5/2008 10:39pm

Hi Mamta,

I am a full time working mom who doesn't get much time to prepare meals everyday. I was windering if I can make 4-5 dishes on weekend and then freeze them? Please give me some ideas on which indian dishes can be frozen and come out fine when thawed?? Thanks a bunch!

Mamta, on 5/5/2008 06:34am

Hello zazzy

If you are cooking once a week, most dishes will last in a fridge for that time, provided they are cooled quickly after cooking and kept in airtight containers in the fridge. They should not be lying around in your kitchen for hour to gather bacteria. This applies to freezing too, freeze quickly and in airtight container/packet, with as little as possible.

1. You could save time by making curry masalas/sauces (frying onions, ginger, tomatoes and spices etc.) on the week-end, which will save time during the week. This will stay in a jar in the fridge for a week or can be frozen in portions. You can freeze these curry sauces, but if you freeze in small jars, leave a little space on the top for it to expand. I have learnt this from experience!

2. It is difficult to list dishes individually, but most meats, chicken dishes, curries, stews, casseroles, will freeze okay.

3. Cooked fish will not freeze well, unless you have made kebas/koftas. Fish flesh breaks up very quickly.

4. Many vegetables freeze well, but not things like potatos. Vegetables loose their crispness, so should be slightly undercooked for freezing.

5. You can make things like vegetables koftas, dahi pakoras and freeze them separately to gravy, putting them together just before eating.

6. Mashed vegetables like Baingan bhurta, pumpkin, spinach saag freeze fine.

7. Bean dishes like chana and rajma and dals freeze well.

8. Pasta sauces freeze well; I will suggest that you make the sauce and freeze it but cook pasta fresh.

9. Soups can be cooked up to the stage of adding water and frozen. Add water and blend after defrosting.

10. Chapatties, rice freeze well, but freeze enough for one day in each pack and not defrost and freeze the same food over and over. Bread also freezes well for 3-4 weeks. Naan dough also freezes okay.

11. I have not tried freezing Dosa batter, but it will last in the fridge for a week easily.

12. Cakes freeze okay too in an airtight container.

13. Milk puddings like kheer freeze fine.

14. Kebabs, samosas, cutlets (pastry dishes) etc. freeze well. I would freeze them uncooked, defrost and cook just before serving.

So freeze away, but be prepared to have slightly less quality and remember to chill quickly, make portions and freeze fast.

Mamta

AskCy, on 5/5/2008 11:38am

I did hear that one cafe/bar out in Majorca used to make curries in advance specifically so they could be frozen as it improved the tenderness of the meat and gave it a better flavour !

Steve

Mamta, on 5/5/2008 02:15pm

I don't agree with freezing improving the taste/texture of curries, though most rich curries do taste better next day when kept in a fridge. That is why 'leftovers' always taste better ;-)!

AskCy, on 5/5/2008 06:06pm

"better" flavour - who knows what it tasted like to start with ?... lol

Steve

Jazzy, on 6/5/2008 12:47am

Thanks Mamta for great ideas!!

Caroline, on 11/5/2008 06:45am

I freeze everything - well almost. I ran a pub for years and for emergencies froze home made curry in plastic bags using a domestic heat sealer. Works better than plastic boxes as you can make the bag as big as you want and remove lots of the air. When required either remove from the bag and put into microwavable container and reheat or if it is thick plastic pierce the bag and cook. Rice was frozen in individual portions and reheated in the bag. Never had any complaints about the quality and now there are only 2 of us I make big batches of curry and freeze in individual portions. This way we can have a variety of curries for each meal if you freeze small portions of each as well as one portion sizes. Almost like a thali.

We have had this discussion on here before and I still stick by the fact that you can freeze fresh coriander (cleaned and chopped) and sprinkle it frozen ontop of a cooked curry.

We make all our own bread - English type and chappatis and when the loaf is ready we let is cool then slice it and pack into thick plastic bags so you can remove one or 2 slices at a time or whatever is needed. No waste.

mahek, on 7/1/2016 09:55am

Hi

I would love to get new ideas for freezing Indian meals

I normally freeze grated coconut ( we use a lot in our Coastal type of cooking)

I also freeze stir fryed onion and coconut mixture also use for our gravies.

I freeze Chapattis upto 8-10 days and I feel they can last longer, also freeze parathas especially ones without potato.

Thanks for your tips

Bibi Maizoon, on 12/1/2016 05:05pm

I freeze rajma and dal quite a bit.

We eat some sort of dal or rajma every day I usually make double or triple batches & portion them out into airtight plastic bins (Lock'n'Lock are my favorites) & stick them in the freezer. I let them thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter then transfer them to a pot & bring them to a boil before serving.

Parathas freeze well too.

We usually have a paratha making day one weekend a month where we make either aloo (potato), gobi (cauliflower), or paneer (tsaman in Kashmiri) parathas in huge batches & put them in sealable plastic freezer bags layered with sheets of wax paper & lie them flat in the freezer. My husband loves to cook breakfast & he just takes a bag of parathas out & fries them up in minutes, serves them with pickles, curd & noon chai for a fast & easy breakfast.

Shobha , on 27/3/2020 05:24pm

How to freeze cut Indian vegetables

Mamta, on 28/3/2020 02:51pm

Which vegetables are we talking about? Some need blanching then dunking in ice cold water, draining and then freezing.

I freeze leaf vegetables like spinach and bathua by simply blanching the leaves, cooling them and then freezing them in a small bag or container. You can freeze them in an ice-cube tray and then put cubes in a bag/container.

Mamta

Cecile, on 17/7/2020 11:54am

Hi, I’m doing a long drive (4hrs+) in a few weeks time and I want to take a chicken curry (the dishoom Ruby curry if that makes a difference!) with me, am I better off making it and freezing it so it defrosts by the time we get there to be eaten, or would it be better to make it and keep it cold on the drive by putting it in a freezer bag with lots of those freezer blocks? Thanks

Mamta, on 17/7/2020 03:43pm

Hello Cecile

Personally, I would take it frozen, in an icebox, surrounded by ice or the ice bags, the kind online suppliers of meat/ fish use. If you get stuck in traffic, it will keep it safe. Then defrost it when you get there.

Alternatively, you can cook your masala mix and take that frozen. Then cook the chicken in your sauce when you get there.

Mamta

Cecile, on 17/7/2020 04:31pm

Hi Mamta - thanks for the advice! In regards to defrosting, is there any specific way you find works best? Leaving it to thaw naturally? Microwave? On the hob? Thanks, Cecile

Mamta, on 17/7/2020 04:54pm

I usually defrost things overnight in the fridge. But I have used a microwave oven, if in a hurry. I don't find it the most satisfactory. Unless your kitchen is very hot, you can defrost it on table top.

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