"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.
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:
Large batch of pancakes for the freezer, Bulk freezer breakfast burritos, Easy chickpea freezer patties, Freezer burritos, Stock your freezer: tips and tricks, How to host a soup swap to stock your freezer with a delicious variety of soups, Single portion vegetarian frozen meals, Freezer jam, Freezer pickles, Tomato sauce for the freezer, Homemade bouillon for the freezer, Revelations of the kitchen freezer, Fill the freezer menu.
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 TalesSpeaking of freezing...