Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On Freezing Indian Food

A reader e-mailed me with this question,
"Do you know how to freeze homemade Indian food for future use? Till now, I have been making fresh meals but now at times I feel the need to have something ready and hate to go to restaurants."
To freeze or not to freeze?
I don't have much experience with freezing Indian meals. It is because my weeknight meals take barely 20 minutes of hands-on time to make. Cooking every evening from scratch fits in well in my schedule. But it is certainly worthwhile to know what Indian (and other) meals freeze well. It comes in handy in various situations when you simply don't have the time to shop or cook but need the comfort of a meal at home. Freezer-ready meals are also a thoughtful gift for friends and neighbors who are dealing with a new baby, recovering from surgery etc.

Freezing ready-to-eat Indian dishes
  • Idlis freeze beautifully. Popping them in the microwave results in soft idlis that are as good as new.
  • Curries containing beans and with a tomato-onion base freeze well, like chana masala (chhole) and rajma.

Freezing for faster meal prep:
  • Meera has an excellent post on freezing sprouts so that nutritious usals, sprout pulaos and curries can be made without planning ahead.
  • I sometimes soak and pressure-cook 2 or 3 times the amount of toor dal I need for one meal. Then I freeze the rest in small containers. This is especially useful when making vegetable-heavy sambar or thin rasams where only a modest amount of toor dal is needed for one batch. 
  • Making curries is a snap if you have the frozen curry base or masala paste on hand. 
  • Anita writes about freezing vegetables, and about freezing steamed koftas for almost instant kofta curry. 
Do share your own experience with freezing Indian food. Any successes or cautionary tales we could benefit from?

Apart from Indian food, I like to freeze
  • Rolls of cookie dough, ready to slice and bake
  • Egg whites
  • Over-ripe bananas
  • Whole wheat tortillas (which double as rotis in my home)
  • Nuts and flours, especially in the summer when these can get rancid quickly in the St. Louis heat
Freezer-friendly links, a baker's dozen:

Know Thy Freezer (or the contents thereof, anyhow)
There's no point stocking the freezer if we forget what's in there- so keeping a well-organized freezer is essential. In fact, writing this post is making me run to my own freezer and clean it out and restock it. An empty freezer is not such a great thing either- freezers are most efficient when they are at least two-thirds full. Needless to say, overstuffing the freezer does nothing for efficiency.



Dale's Tales
Speaking of freezing...


59 comments:

  1. Happy New Year!! Wonderful post, Nupur. I freeze few things just like you mentioned. I always pressure cook 3 beans or daals in separate containers and then freeze in freezer safe containers. If I plan to cook daal for dinner, I just take it out and keep in fridge from freezer so when I come back from work, I have boiled daal/beans ready. I use similar method (freezing and thawing in fridge in the morning for dinner plan) for idli/dosa batter - i actually grind it in bigger proportion. When I make muthiyas/koftas etc. ,I freeze them too so somewhere down the road i can re-use them for making curries. I also freeze chutneys, ginger-garlic paste, chopped ginger etc. I generally keep all these things in smaller containers so I do not have to freeze-thaw-refreeze stuff. Once thawed, i do not refreeze again. I freeze parathas, chapatis , pizza dough, paneer, even cooked rice. cooked rice comes really handy for making fried rice as the grains are nicely separated.
    I only have problems with texture of boiled potatoes. So I do not freeze potatoes. I will check if others have any tricks for potatoes. wrote too much!!! sorry!

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  2. That is lot of good-to-know information. Thanks Nupur.
    Freeze green chillies in a plastic box. They keep fresh for weeks.
    I normally freeze home made chapathis in ziploc bags and thaw it in the fridge before 6 hrs I need them... Wrap the chapathis in a wet kitchen towel and warm up in microwave when using.
    Freeze the soaked dhals/sprouted dhals in ziploc bags. That would make life easier when we want to make quick dhal dishes/salads...

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  3. Nupur,
    Wish you happy new year ..
    And it's a great post..
    I do freeze atta dough and in batches before making rotis I generally take it out each batch prior 1 hr of making rotis..
    but I dont refreeze it again..
    I have some fresh coconut meats still in my freezer and it's almost two months ..I do generally use as per requirements..
    I have been using zip and seal plastic freezer bags/zip n seal sandwich bags for freezing and often I like to write the date on it in case I forget..well thats it..
    Cute Snow pics with Dale ..hugs and smiles

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  4. Great tips Nupur.

    I never believed in freezing till I actually started doing it. I freeze the portions that get leftover and is not enough for a meal by itself and it usually blah eating it again for the next meal.

    On a day when I don't feel like cooking 2-3 of these come in very handy and generally taste not all that bad.

    Potatoes are the only one that don't freeze well, get soggy and taste bad. Beans, sambhar, dals are all great candidates for freezing.

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  5. Great Post, Nupur.
    I have at one time or another tried freezing Indian food. I find my need tends towards snacks, since making just a couple is not possible and there was a time when M was traveling and I was alone and did not need much in the week , so I made and froze 'ALuwadi'.
    They make a great snack, and I also took it to my friend's home after she had a baby and she found it useful and tasty too.
    Similarly, I have frozen koftas and
    'gatte' (chickpea flour dumplings) for a quick and nutritious meal when pairing it with greens.
    I heard some one once mention that they froze ghee ( make a big batch - say 4-6 lbs) I used this trick (but not the quantity) when I had to travel, I froze a small batch and carried it in my luggage, as my son needs ghee with his meals.

    What a long comment! oops :)
    Dale looks smart as usual. Does he enjoy playing in the snow? did u make a snowman for him?

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  6. Great post! I make a dish called Indian Spiced Lentils (probably not that authentic, but tasty) and it freezes beautifully.

    Love the snowman!

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  7. My cousin tells me that she freezes Half cut ripe tomatoes when they r cheap for later use. Prepared Dals, Sambar, Sabji, Gravies, samosas, cutlets are all gr8 candidates for freezing.

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  8. According to my 2 sisters i am a freezet queen, i feeze a lot of Indian food, my two sister laught at me when they hear me freezing, sambar , dal, all the chicken dishes, channa, just name it i freeze, two things i have not done yet is potato curries and Egg plant.

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  9. Oh yes i freeze in curry leavesm chillies ginger skined removed, corriander leaves etc........ my freezing tarted as i live in a town were there is no asian shop and when ever i go i buy thense things and freeze it.

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  10. Thanks for the informative post. I haven't tried freezing Indian food much.. the only time I froze Toor dhal, the consistency of the frozen dhal was weird and it didn't seem to integrate with the sambhar very well. I've had a lot of success with freezing homemade waffles.

    The snowmen are so cute! The second one looks like something that Calvin would have made.

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  11. All gravies (the typical north indian ones) freeze well.

    I always make extra dal and freeze it and also freeze cooked or raw chopped vegetables. I also soak chana, rajma etc and freezed them after cooking. I also cook spinach and puree it and freeze it. Things like palak paneer or makai palak come together in minutes.

    Like you, I also store nuts in the freezer along with scraped coconut. Idlis, cutlets, tikkis etc freeze beautifully as do batters.

    Eggplant and ladies finger are not suited for freezing and cabbage rots very fast even though it is in the freezer. The roasted eggplant (for bharta) freezes well.

    Patrodo is perfect freezer food. Unpeeled potatoes are best stored in the fridge. I've not tried freezing them.

    Happy New Year. Hugs to Dale too.

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  12. Great tips on freezing in this freezing weather. I freeze cooked beans/ green chillies/ ginger/ seeds & nuts/ overripe bananas/ leftover bread. This post is bookmarked for future reference on freezing Indian food. Thanks Nupur.

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  13. My freezing habits were quite similar to yours - over-ripe bananas, berries, nuts in the summer, coffee, whole or sliced mushrooms, green beans. But that mentality only works when you have the ginormous fridge-freezer situation of the USA. Having moved to the Netherlands, I now live with a tiny (undercounter, and almost bar sized) fridge, which holds, excess meats, peas, spinach and coconut scrapings. I thought I'd never be able to live without one of them huge fridges, and now am surprised by how much the tiny one holds! I'm now amused when I walk by the electronics store display window and see the the one 'giant' fridge in a row of 'normal' sized ones labelled "American style fridge"....
    My comment is certainly a bit tangential, and is not intended to sound judgmental or pontificating. Just sharing an experience :)

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  14. It is not very often that I freeze cooked food. Whenever I do, I use it in the next two to three weeks. I have frozen curries, dals, chapatis, idlis in the past. Totally agree with you on idlis, they freeze and microwave beautifully.

    I freeze sprouts and veggies the most. I also freeze over-ripe bananas, curry leaves, leftover tomatoes from can and also chunks of coconut. I also freeze any leftover green chilies paste and freshly ground masalas with coconut base.

    I always have frozen cauliflower, peas and capsicum on hand. I buy cauliflower heads and freeze it the same day in order to maintain the freshness. I cut the florets, wash them, let them air dry a bit and freeze them in a yogurt or a freezer safe plastic container.

    Oh I almost forgot, I do freeze idli and dosa batters and they freeze just great!

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  15. I started freezing a lot of veggies since I joined a CSA last year. I keep nuts and flours in there too and masalas. I am going to a soup swap on the 23rd and need to make space for the soups I will get!
    When I make muffins I usually make enough dough for 12, bake 6 and put the remaining in a 6-cup silicone muffin pan. Stick the tray in the freezer, when I need muffins again, just take the tray out, let it thaw at room temperature and bake as usual. I also freeze breads and other baked goods. Can you tell I love my freezer?

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  16. Not useful - but a related quip from Mark Bittman
    "You can freeze anything. The trick is to find things that defrost well" :-)

    The only food that does not defrost well is potato based bhajis, and any bhaji that is too dry - this is my experience.

    I also defrost in the fridge all day and then reheat at dinner time.

    It sure beats market bought frozen food!

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  17. Lovely lovely post and comments. Bookmarked. Thanks for the tips everyone!

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  18. Great tips from everybody!

    But, wait a minute, 20 minute dinners! How do you do it? Please share your tips!

    Dee

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  19. I don't freeze curries that much. My SIL & cousins freeze dals, pulusu (tamarind based curries), kheema fry, mutton curry, bitter gourd fry and broad beans fry. These are dishes I can remember on top of my head.

    I usually freeze ginger garlic paste in small containers and pull out a container as I need it. Once I remove it, it stays fresh for atleast 10 - 14 days in the fridge.

    I also freeze fried onion paste. I also add some spices and tomato to it and is a great base for curries. Once thawed, it stays fresh for 7-1o days in the fridge.

    I freeze fresh drumsticks (vege). One of my aunt's has this tree in her garden and when she sends some over, I cut them into desired size, blanch them in hot water for a minute, cool it ice cold water and freeze in ziploc bags.

    I also freeze chickpeas, black chana and black eye peas(this i froze once). I soak them overnight, cook it and then freeze it ina ziploc bag. If adding it to curry, I add it directly or wash it in warm water and add it to teh curry. If using chickpeas in salads or chaats, I wash it in water, microwave it for 20 - 30secs, depends on the quantity, then wash it again and is ready to be tossed in salads or for chaats.

    I also freeze cooked kheema (not the fry and curry). I cook goat kheema with some gg paste, chili pwd & salt until fully cooked. I store it small glass or rubbermaid containers enough for one meal. I put it in the fridge the night before to thaw or I microwave it for a couple of minutes to partially thaw it and make the curry or even biryani. I have done this couple of times with goat meat too.

    Sometimes I freeze chutnies too.

    I also freeze raw meats, poultry, shrimp and fish. I cut them into desired size, freeze them in a freezer ziploc bag. I always date date the bag, so that I know how long it has been freezing.

    phew, I think this is a a lengthy comment I ever wrote!

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  20. Great, informative post, Nupur...

    Equally informative are the tips in the comments

    Thanks so much to all who shared these tips..
    Sampada

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  21. I freeze rasam, sambar & dal on a regular basis. I used to be under the impression that frozen dal/rasam don't taste fresh, but it is not at all so. Now with 2 small kids, the freezer is my best friend. I freeze idlis, rajma, channa, dhokla, over-ripe bananas.

    Kavitha

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  22. Happy New Year Nupur! .. I normally cook a larger batch and freeze pav bhaji (the best freezer-friendly meal), chincha-goolachi amti (for my husband, in case I'm going out of town), chole, rajma and dal makhani..

    In addition, the date-tamarind chutney used for bhel lasts for months together in the freezer and tastes better everytime you use it.

    Love to Dale :)

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  23. I freeze raw material for koshimbirs - grate carrots, radish, steamed beets etc and put in small ziplock bags. Same goes for meat of roasted eggplants. Steamed and mashed zucchini, squash, doodhi etc etc - always have a koshimbir ready in minutes on weekdays :) move from freezer to fridge in the morning.

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  24. Nice Post! Most of the time the cooked food that I freeze are the Leftovers. Else Kneaded chapati dough - Kanik, Over ripe bananas, pressure cooked sprouted pulses or leafy vegetable are few regular frozen stuffs.
    Even frozen Amti - Dal goes well for nearly 4-5 days, but thats okay if you want to have the same thing daily.

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  25. Hey!!
    Nupur,
    Thanks for this post...
    I was always wondering if Indian food could be frozen...
    I normally freeze a batch of onion and coconut which are nicely fried brown (used for our goan veg curries called tonak...). I also freeze pizza or pasta sauce which is homemade...
    THANKS TO ALL YOU LOVELY BLOGGERS WHO HAVE ADDED THEIR OWN SUGGESTIONS ..

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  26. How big is everyones freezers? I would love to have one, but leaving in an apartment it is not feasible. I do freeze paneer, soft cheeses, paratha stuffing of peas. Potatoes do not freeze well in any form due to its water content. It seems the cells break down, giving up their water and one is left with a unappealing solid mass. I have freeze pav bhaji, but use it as a stuffing for toasted sandwiches. This works out quite well.
    Thanks everyone for the tips and big thank you to Nupur.

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  27. Hi Nupur,
    I freeze a tomato-based curry sauce in 2 cup portions...then I just have to marinate the seasoned meat of choice, brown it in ghee, then add it to the sauce to simmer for 20 minutes. I also purchase fresh ginger, garlic and green chillies... mince each in a food processor, fill ice-cube trays 3/4 full, adding a little water to each, freeze, then transfer to zip-lock bags. When I bake a batch of naan, I wrap each separately and freeze in a zip-lock bag as well. A delicious Indian meal is never far away!
    Regards, Barbara in Toronto

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  28. Great post Nupur!
    I wonder if you could add in your post how long can you keep the frozen stuff? Sometimes I have frozen stuff forgotten for months in my freezer and shamelessly thaw them to consume, wondering if I am giving my self a strong dose of some toxin?

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  29. I make large batches of dals, vegetable curries and haleem and divide them into small portions and freeze during Ramadan especially to save time.
    Samosas, cooked or uncooked also freeze well, just pop them in oven when you want to eat.
    Paneer, khoya, over-ripe bananas, parathas, ginger garlic paste, cooked or raw meatballs and kababs, chicken/beef stock, leftover pancakes or even pancake batter, leftover chutneys, roasted tomato or roasted bell pepper sauce, blanched greens and veggies, berries and the cooked meat for shaami and shikampur are few other things that I usually freeze.
    Freezing Idlis and dough for paratha was what I found very useful and learnt today. Nupur, do you directly microwave the frozen idlis or let them thaw for a while?

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  30. Nupur,

    Just curious... what do you do with frozen over ripe banana?

    Aparna

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  31. Wow, 20 minute dinners on a weekday? What do you make? I'd like to know.

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  32. Meera- That's a very impressive list- thanks for taking the time! I should try freezing dosa batter, I do make that in large quantities. And yes, I am going to make koftas and muthiyas in quantity for busy weeknights.
    It is funny how potatoes don't freeze well at home because in supermarkets, there are dozens of frozen potato products. Maybe it is flash freezing that is needed for potatoes.

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  33. Krithi's Kitchen- Thanks! I do freezer green chillies and yes, they remain fresh for a long time.

    Jaya- Thanks for your tips- freezing atta is new to me.

    indosungod- I agree, I don't see myself eating frozen meals all the time but it can be really convenient and cut down on food waste too.

    Manasi- Ah, aluwadi! I will try and find alu leaves and make some this very weekend. Even more than a snack, I love it as a side dish for dal bhaat.
    Dale loves the snow- but no, I did not make the snowmen, he found them on his walks and went up to say hello to them :)

    Kalyn- I didn't make the snowmen, we just spotted them on our walks, but aren't they adorable?
    The lentils look wonderful, I'll have to try that recipe.

    harini-jaya- Freezing raw tomatoes is new to me- thanks for the tip!

    Happy Cook- That's quite a list, thanks for sharing it!

    Inji- Hmm, I've frozen toor dal very often with good results, so I don't quite know why it did not work for you.
    I agree, the second snowman looks like Calvin made it :) maybe he did, we just spotted the snowman on our walks through the neighborhood.

    Raaga- Thanks for sharing all those great tips. I'll have to start storing spinach puree when fresh spinach is in season. Happy New Year to you too!

    Pavani- Glad you think this post is useful!

    aspiring annapoorna- It is amazing how humans adapt to their conditions. Given a big freezer, we will fill it right up. With a tiny one, life goes on and we manage. You are probably enjoying lots of fresh food since there is no room to freeze!

    Amruta- I too use up frozen food in a matter of weeks. Freezing cauliflower is a good idea! Thanks for sharing your many tips.

    Anonymous- How fun that you get to go to a soup swap! I like your idea of making a double batch of muffins.

    Vishakha- I LOVE that quip- nice one! Yes, those frozen dinner portions certainly are no match for what we can freeze at home.

    Divya Vikram- Thanks!

    Dee- I'll be happy to share 20 minute dinner tips in a future post, so please watch for it.

    Usha- Thanks for all your useful tips- it is nice to be able to store drumsticks from your aunt's garden!

    Sampada- Yes, everyone has shared their experiences so generously.

    Kavitha- Mmm dhokla :)

    Anonymous- I generally store date-tamarind chutney in the fridge and it lasts quite a long while. Happy New Year to you too!

    Sonia- Good ideas- thanks for sharing!

    Kanchan- Me too, I tend to freeze leftovers in the rare case I make too much food. Thanks for your tips!

    Mahek- I like your idea of freezing onion-coconut masala.

    Anonymous- My freezer is a separate compartment on top of my fridge, a modest one by US standards but bigger than most in Indian kitchens that I have seen. I certainly don't have a chest freezer or anything of the sort, and don't need anything bigger than what I have.

    Barbara- Naan from the freezer sounds wonderful, I'll have to try that! Your curry base sounds wonderful too.

    Sangeetha- I don't keep ANY food around for longer than a few weeks so I would not know the answer to your question :) I like having a quick turnover in my kitchen personally.

    Mona- Thanks for the excellent ideas. I microwave idlis straight from the freezer, they go from rock solid frozen to fresh and steaming in a mere couple of minutes.

    Aparna- I peel over ripe bananas before storing them in the freezer, then I use them for banana walnut pancakes, mango-banana smoothies and most often, banana bread.

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  34. I love dale's snowmen - freezing seems a good seasonal topic - ha ha

    I freeze curries but find that cooked potato does not freeze well so keep this to a minimum or out of it altogether

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  35. Nupur, this is very informative post of you! People come out with their brilliant ideas and tips. It's so nice to read everyone's tips and techniques.

    I don't usually freeze any Indian cooked food except sometimes cooked dal. I'm bit hesitant abt that.

    Though, I do freeze pizza dough, left-over coconut milk, Thai herbs, Thai curry pastes, left-over egg whites and yolks (separately, with labeled date and quantity), apple sauce, pureed beetroot, whole banana with peels -- (that's great idea and come to rescue for baking).

    I've started to store homemade Date Chutney as well and it's come out very handy when we crave for instant chat. :)

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  36. Great post on freezing foods Nupur. Very informative tips in the post, links and comments too. To add my two bit, I have found that green beans freeze well. You know, Costco has very tender green beans bags. I've never found such tender ones anywhere else. But they need to be used up soon if kept in the fridge. So I chop them up and freeze them, sometimes I also pressure cook them, then freeze. Hope this helps.

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  37. Hi Nupur & all the readers,
    I have a question about freezing garlic. I was wondering if any of you have tried freezing peeled garlic cloves. Are they a good candidate for freezing?
    Thanks!

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  38. I heart this post. Since the birth of my child, I'm the queen of cooking shortcuts, and nothing beats pre-cooked frozen food.
    I freeze food in yogurt jars and let dinner slow come to life over the course of the day. Of course, the Canadian winter means I just leave stuff on my window sill...
    And how did Dale reach my yard?

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  39. Fantastic post, as always. I wanted to know how french beans/farazbi is frozen.. I tried that once and when I took the bag out of the freezer to thaw it, the green beans had lost all their water and became mushy. I obviously did something wrong there.. Would appreciate tips from anyone. Do frozen vegetables retain their texture at all?

    -Preeti

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  40. just yest, my sis and i were chatting on what to freeze and ur post is so handy. i freeze any batch of curry with dal in it. only non freezer friendly stuff is veggies with water in it.. they taste blah after going the freezing cycle. i even freeze tomato paste in a thin layer in a ziplock for easy break off and use.

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  41. These days the only thing I freeze is coconut milk, cheese and meat - I marinate chicken and mutton as well as fish as soon as I buy it and then freeze it in meal sized portions.

    When I didn't have help though, I used to freeze tomato puree and chopped onions the most. Apparently rotis freeze very well I learnt that after carrying 3 months supply from India to my friend in Sydney who just thaws and microwaves every evening....

    Great post and some inspiring ideas, stored away for the day when I am back to a no help situation!

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  42. Happy New Year, Nupur! Cute Snowman. With such freezing temperatures, you might just have to leave the food outside to get it frozen. Jokes aside, thanks for the informative post.

    Another thing that I do is make the gravy for curries in bulk and freeze the extras. So that way, it saves a lot of time in making any curry that you want.

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  43. Johanna- I've heard that from a lot of people and read it too, that potatoes lose their texture when frozen at home.

    Sonia @ 7 spice- I know, everyone has shared their experience and we can all learn from each other. Thanks for your tips- I always peel bananas before freezing so it is interesting that you freeze them with peels on.
    I make date chutney and keep it in the fridge, it lasts for months there too.

    Supriya- Thanks for sharing that tip.

    Amruta- Yes, garlic does freeze well! Last year, somehow I ended up with several pounds of garlic (friend bought from warehouse store) and peeled the cloves and froze them in a container. I just remove few cloves and chop them up and use them, works fine. The texture gets a bit mushy but then we mince garlic or make it into a paste anyway.

    Niranjana- Your yard has extended down to us- please reclaim your snow and give me back some warm weather! :)

    Preethi- I have found that vegetables lose their texture a bit but that might not be such a problem when making subzis.

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  44. Anonymous- Thanks for your tips.

    Miri- Yes, rotis and tortillas (which I use as rotis) freeze beautifully. That's important to me because I am terrible at making rotis.

    Sarah- I do leave food on the back porch to cool quickly before putting it in the fridge/freezer!

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  45. Methi leaves also freeze better. We have them at times for even a year and didn't go bad at all.

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  46. Gre8 job nupur!! Just love your site...just found it..

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  47. Hey, I'm wondering if mint chutney can be freezed. I'm addicted to the stuff when I can walk out to the garden and collect all the ingredients (save for the lime), but I sure would love to have some right about now. Will it freeze well or will the mint/cilantro be soggy and gloppy when it thaws?

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  48. hi!
    Chapattis freeze well and so do parathas.
    I also freeze chops and cutlets.
    Potatoes and veggies like arvi do not freeze well.
    Dals, rajmas etc can befrozen in ziplocks or plastic containers.
    Meats... lamb ribs, fish, chicken etc can be bought fresh and marinated and frozen.

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  49. Hi Nupur, I'm a long time reader and infact I recommend your pav bhaji recipe to other all the time! I just wanted to say that I am freezer queen! I have a full size freezer and 3 refrigerator/freezer combinations.

    I wanted to respond to readers who said that they have difficulty in freezing eggplants. I freeze eggplants in two forms. During August/September when large eggplants are in season, I roast 20-30 of them on the grill, peel them and freeze them in containers. I can make bharta, pachadi, pulusu, or baba ghanouj with the eggplant pulp.

    The other way to store eggplants is to stuff small eggplants with non-coconut based stuffing (I use a spice mix for Andhra style guthi vankayas) saute them til they are fully cooked and then freeze. If you would like, you can add them to a gravy after defrosting (like for bagara baingan), I think even a gravy like the one you made for Rajastani achari baingan would work nicely too.

    One other item which I would add that works well in the freezer is Handwo. You can bake it, and freeze it in the pan and reheat in the oven to restore crispy texture.

    Cilantry and mint chutney freeze well if you grind them very smoothly with less water. I use peanuts instead of coconut. South indian style sauted mint chutney does very well too.

    For green beans, be sure to blanch them in hot water and cool in a ice water bath, and then dry them on a towel before freezing. They will be tender and fresh tasting in any subzi.

    I am able to reduce grocery trips, feed my family healthy home cooked food for all meals and manage a two career family where both parents to travel for business. We eat out maybe 2X a year. So, the only advice I would offer would be: "Don't knock it until you've tried it".

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  50. Hi Nupur,

    I am from Mumbai and a regular follower of your Blog.

    Our freezers are very small compared to what you have over there. I have only Maida, Rava, Idli Rava in the freezer and sometimes paneer. I have a dobberman (Lucy) and I stack around ½ Kg of curry pieces of chicken for her and replenish twice a week. And yes, a couple of trays of ice cubes.

    In the freeze I have Four shelves where I have sequentially written from Top to bottom : MILK, CURD, Veggies, Dals Etc and the last shelf has Mirchi, Kothimbir plastic boxes. I try utmost to stack food accordingly. I do have a small crisper for vegetables which I buy twice a week.

    That’s it.

    Surprisingly, my fridge is empty most of the days. I should thank Lucy my doggy for zero left overs since she consumes everything including bharle vangi to bhendyachi bhaji as long as her food has a piece of chicken.

    I should really try out some of the freezing techniques mentioned by.

    I fully agree with you that we adapt to the place where we stay.

    I also liked your event on Kitchens.

    Dale reminds me of my Lucy.

    Bageshri

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  51. Your blog is simple yet so informative. I love your passion for food & dogs. Way to go... I have 2 dogs and they are my best friends. I wish we have more people like you who love & care for animals! I am a Indian and I haven't seem many Indians who like animals. Take care & I get great inspiration from your recipes. It is hard to cook everyday but I am trying to do it more regularly. Shree from Toronto.

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  52. Hi ,I just found your blog.Loved this on on freezing food.
    I am from India.I regularly freeze coconut scrapings.I scrape one or two coconuts at a time and store the scrapings in small portions in freezer bags and take out for use when needed.Stores well for about couple of months.I also freeze curries like samshar,dhal,ready to fry cutlets,ginger-garlic paste,stock,meat/chicken curries etc.

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  53. if I make too much bhaji batter can I freeze it please

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  54. Hi Nupur,

    Loved your post and love your blog.. Really great tips !!!

    I am going on a business trip to US next week and can't decide what to prepare and freeze for my hubby ! I am thinking about freezing pavbhaji, chhole, prawn curry and undhiyu and dal of course.. As my husband can't cook, I have to cook everything to 100%.. I may cook aubergine-green peas shak as well.. Do you think these items will freeze fine for two weeks ? Also, can I freeze green mug and mug ni daal ?

    Thanks to you and others for sharing great tips..

    Lots of love to your dog !!

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  55. Hi, Does anyone here freeze uncooked lentils? I'd soaked some rajma, but alternate plans came up at the last minnute, so I've just drained it, and stuck it into my freezer... Should I have boiled it first?

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  56. I live on my own so I freeze whatever left over. I also make garlic/ginger, chilli.garlic ginger and chilli/garlic ginger and corriander paste- and fresh cocoanut chtney, put in ice trays and the cubes stored in freezer. great when you need it and no time to go to supermarket. cocoanut chutney is great to use in yogurt and it also makes yummy yummy sandwich with chiabata

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  57. I have bad experience with freezing. I do freeze rotis and parathas, and also north indian curries like chhole, rajma, etc.
    But freezing corriander leaves (fresh), cooked french beans, cooked bhindi, etc were disasters.
    I am scared of toxins/infection. So I prefer to dry stuff rather than freeze. For example, I keep chopped ginger in the fridge (spread it out in a plate). After it is totally dry(in a couple of days)I put it in a small container and keep it in the fridge.
    My fear is that a dry thing is definitely safe, but frozen pastes, and frozen cooked stuff . . . who knows???
    I would love to be proved wrong as I can imagine the convenience of freezing stuff.
    Do tell me where I go wrong while freezing. Also, is it ok if there is a powder of ice crystals on the surface of the frozen food?

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  58. Another thing.
    Those of you who freeze stuff in ziplock bags, do you discard the bags after one use? If you reuse the bags, how do you clean them?
    You can see that I am serious about attempting freezing again, and also that I am a novice.

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  59. Nupur you have a great blog here!!! Loved it...i would like to know if rice dishes such as biryani/fried rice/ pulav can be frozen....thanks dear...
    Naznyn syed.

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