Can You Freeze Curry Leaves? (Explained)

Curry leaves are an essential part of different dishes from around the world. Apart from being aromatic, they also possess a nice flavor added to various recipes. Although these led leaves are considered common in Asian dishes, you can notice them being used in other foods. Many people wonder if curry leaves can be frozen and used after a few days, weeks, or months.

Can you freeze curry leaves?

You can freeze curry leaves and it is even safe to use frozen curry leaves in any dish. Clean the curry leaves and dry them to take out the water and moisture content. When there is no water left, put the curry leaves in an air-tight bag or container. Insert a straw to suck the air out and then put it in the freezer.

How To Freeze Curry Leaves?

Freezing curry leaves is a process that is very easy to follow. Several commercial establishments like restaurants and hotels use these steps to freeze and store curry leaves. 

You can also do the same to freeze, store, and use curry leaves later. Here is the finest step by step guide to freezing curry leaves:

Step 1: If the curry leaves you have purchased come with the stem, you have to remove them. It is because the stem can comprise sharp edges that can pierce through the bag that you freeze the curry leaves with. It can often end up causing the curry leaves to lose their flavor or contamination of leaves.

Step 2: Secondly, wash the curry leaves you have purchased or harvested in cold running water. It would allow the curry leaves to get rid of any dirt particles. It would also help you to remove harmful insecticides, pesticides, and other harmful toxins that may be present in them.

Step 3: Now comes the drying part of the leaves. You can use a salad spinner can for this process, and it will help you remove the excess water from the leaves. In case if you do not have this kitchen appliance, there are other options too.

Using a paper towel, tissue, or a dry cloth, you can wipe off any water that may present on the curry leaves. You should ensure that you do not rub off the water, which may cause damage to the leaves and make the curry leaves lose their flavor and taste.

Step 4: Use a baking sheet to spread the curry leaves and leave them to dry out completely. Leave some space between the leaves to make the process quicker. In case if you do not have a baking sheet, you can also complete this step by using a cloth. In order to keep the leaves in one place, it is best to use plates or baking trays.

Step 5: With the help of another dry cloth or towel, you can close all of the leaves totally. You can leave them in the same place for a day or two until they become entirely dry. By exposing them to indirect sunlight, you can ensure that they are as dry as they can get. However, make sure to remember that exposing them to direct or too much sunlight can burn them. Besides, it may remove most of the flavor in them as well.

Step 6: Find a zip lock or a freezer-safe bag that is big enough to accommodate all the curry leaves that you have dried. If possible, try to fill half of the bag and leave some extra space.

Step 7: Insert a straw in one corner of the zip lock bag and close the zip until the top of the straw. Once you do this, you would be able to suck out the excess air out of the bag, which would help in keeping the curry leaves intact.

Step 8: Label and date the freezer safe or zip lock bag and leave it in the freezer. Keeping the bag at a place with a consistent temperature might be essential to preserve the curry leaves properly. 

Recommended further reading:

How To Thaw Curry Leaves?

Unlike most frozen food, you would not have to thaw curry leaves. It is possible for you to directly use the curry leaves from a frozen state and then on to your cooking pan or vessel. The texture and the thinness of the curry leave ensure that they defrost automatically once exposed to heat.

Other Useful Tips

  • If you are freezing different leaves, it may be hard to distinguish between them when in a frozen state. So, it is always better if you mark the date and label them for easier identification. 
  • Using the best quality freezer-safe bags or zip lock bags is essential. It would ensure that the flavor of the curry leaves does not spread across the other food items in the freezer. 
  • Defrosting or thawing of the curry leaves is not a requirement by any means, and it is despite the amount of time they are stored in a freezer. Throwing them directly into the cooking pan that is already heated would do the trick for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How long can you freeze curry leaves?

If packed and frozen appropriately, as we have stated, the curry leaves can remain frozen and used for up to 1 year. However, keep in mind that improper packaging has the potential to affect the longevity, flavor, and usability of these frozen curry leaves.

What should I be careful about freezing curry leaves?

You should ensure that you are not leaving any water in the package while freezing curry leaves. In addition to that, keep the air-tight container in which you plan to store the curry leaves free from moisture. These two elements have an impact on how long the curry leaves might last in a frozen state in your freezer.

Is it necessary to thaw curry leaves before cooking?

As far as curry leaves are concerned, you would not be required to thaw them before using them. You can take the curry leaves out of the package and use them in your dish. However, you have to be careful if you are directly bringing them in contact with hot oil. If you are too close to the hot oil and vessel, you might end up being burned by the hot oil splashing.

Will curry leaves lose their flavor if frozen?

Almost all food items or ingredients that are frozen tend to lose a little bit of flavor, and the same applies to curry leaves too. However, the good news is that the loss of aroma is negligible, considering the amount of time it was in the freezer.

Does it take time to defrost curry leaves?

No, you do not have to defrost curry leaves. It is because of the thin nature of the leaves, which will generally remain in their original texture even when stored in the freezer. The moment you toss them into a hot vessel, they defrost themselves without the need for extra time. 

Can curry leaves be refrigerated?

Yes, you can refrigerate curry leaves for up to six months. However, freezing the curry leaves would help them have longevity, making them last up to a year in a frozen state.

Will curry leaves get decayed if frozen?

Curry leaves that are frozen appropriately have a good shelf life and can last for up to a year. At the same time, if they are not packed and frozen properly, there are high chances that they may get decayed.

Can curry leaves be powdered and frozen?

No, it is best to freeze curry leaves as they are and not otherwise. Freezing powdered curry leaves might not be a relatively good option as they are often in a dry state. 

Can curry leaves be frozen with any other food items?

It is always a good idea to freeze and store curry leaves separately, and it is to ensure that the flavors are not affected. Keeping other food items may interfere with the flavors of each other. Due to that, there might be differences in the dish’s taste that you prepare later. 

Can cooked curry leaves be frozen?

It depends on how they are cooked. Some people choose to grind curry leaves to a paste and use it. In this form, curry leaves can be cooked, frozen, and used later without too many issues.

Which is the best way to preserve curry leaves, frozen or refrigerated?

A: If you are looking for longevity in terms of storage, then freezing curry leaves would be an ideal option. You can refrigerate and use them for a shorter period without any problems.

Recommended further reading:

  • Can you freeze cooked steak
  • Can you freeze salmon with skin on
  • can you freeze crushed pineapple

Conclusion

It would be best to always remember to label and date the food items you preserve or freeze. It also applies to curry leaves that you choose to freeze. By doing this, you can make sure that you are not using them beyond the use-by date. 

Like any food item, curry leaves should also be consistently frozen. For that, the freezer needs to have 24/7 power. It is best to avoid using curry leaves that are frozen for more than one year to prevent contamination.

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