Curry is a popular dish for many ethnicities.
The differences in recipes often only vary slightly.
But have you ever had a curry but didn’t manage to eat it all?
That happened to me many times for sure.
Curry can be a heavy dish and your eyes are often bigger than your stomach.
The question then is how long is curry is good for?
How Long Is Curry Good For?
Curry is good for 2 to 7 days depending on the protein component and how it was cooked. Delicate proteins and vegetable curries last 2 days in the fridge whilst tougher meats last longer. Fresh curry in the freezer can last up to 8 weeks. It is recommended to reheat curry from the freezer completely on a stovetop before eating.
What Is Curry?
Curry is a saucy dish, very much similar to gravy, but a lot more complex because of the varieties and combinations of ingredients that go into its making.
Curries are traditionally made as part of the main meal. They can have any type of protein, vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or even a mix of more than one type.
And it is usually served with flatbread or rice as a staple.
Some of the curries are made with lots of water to give a soup/broth effect, while other times it can be made with very less water to give an enhanced flavor.
It may take some time to get used to making curry, but once you get the hold of the ingredients and the basic process, it is fairly simple.
The Ingredients Used In Making Curry
The making usually starts with a basic combination of onion, tomato, garlic, and ginger, mildly cooked in butter or oil, such as mustard, canola, or vegetable.
Then adding a dairy product, like yogurt or cream, neutralizes the acidity; coconut milk or almond milk are common alternatives.
After dairy comes the most important part; herbs and spices.
There are a ton of varieties used depending on factors like the protein component of the dish, desired spice level, the staple served with it, personal preference, etc.
Some of the common spices include turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, the umpteen type of chili pepper powders (red, black, white), garam masala powder, salt, fenugreek, bay leaves, curry leaves, star anise, etc.
These could be dried or fresh, toasted or non-toasted, whole, ground, or even paste forms.
In addition, some curries also have a good amount of dried fruits, like desiccated coconut, dried pitted prunes and plums, and whole or paste form of cashews and almonds
Once the spice mix is somewhat cooked, protein is added and cooked till tender. The final steps include adding a few more spices and garnishing with herbs and chilies.
The Variations In Curries
For curry from any cultural region, the actual composition is more-or-less the same; the starter sautéed part, neutralizing component, spices, proteins, and final step.
But the amounts and combinations of the ingredients used to vary a lot, which greatly impacts the outcome.
For instance, in South India, the curry has a stronger flavor of curry leaves, while the curries in Pakistan have more chili.
Method variations include the method of cooking and ingredients used.
Some sauté, some don’t, some do it partly; some roast the ingredients, some use only a few ingredients, while some like more flavors so put in more ingredients, while some just put it all in together and let the dish do its own cooking.
With the ready-to-use curry powder mixes, just add these into the dish instead of going through each step for the spices.
These pre-mixed spices are in fixed proportions relevant to the different regional expectations. And the readymade curry pastes also serve for easiecurryr curry options.
How Long Is Curry Reheatable?
First things first, when you make curry or get it from a restaurant, make sure you store it in air-tight containers in the refrigerator at 4°c within a couple of hours of cooking.
It should be thoroughly cooked, as partly cooked may result in earlier spoilage. But beware, it might not taste the same as the fresh one.
Curries with vegetables or easily spoiled proteins, like seafood, should be consumed within 2 days.
The meatier category proteins can ideally be kept for 4 days after cooking.
The maximum time of keeping cooked curry is 7 days in the fridge. If you intend to keep it that long, freeze it before, and make sure the curry is not spoiled before eating.
Some people tend to make larger amounts as that saves time and effort, and freeze it to use at other times.
Freeze in appropriate serving portions so you are not defrosting and freezing the same curry again and again.
Curries with tougher proteins like chicken, veal, and beef can be frozen for up to 8 weeks.
Tips And Tricks For Reheating Curries
Technically speaking, always use either a stovetop pot or oven-safe casserole/pot to reheat the curry. If it is frozen, thaw it before heating.
This heats the curry evenly, unlike a microwave that reheats unevenly, requires more than one attempt, and ends up discoloring and destroying the flavors.
Secondly, heat the curry at a medium to low medium heat, add water only if it becomes too dry or thick, cautiously using tablespoons, or else you may end up with a diluted curry.
Always try to reheat only the needed amount of curry because if you reheat it more than once, you will lose the essence of the curry and the protein will end up as rubbery or broken.
When reheating make sure that the whole contents reach the boiling point and simmer for a few minutes before you serve it. Bon appetite!