Rich, filling and loaded with lentils, dahl (or daal, dhal or dal) is one of those dishes that’s perfectly cooked as a large batch in a big pot. But can you bulk prepare dahl and then store it for the long term?
Can You Freeze Dahl?
Yes, you can freeze dahl for up to 6 months. To freeze dahl, you just need to cool it, portion it into thick freezer bags, and then freeze it. Make sure you use thick freezer bags, as you don’t want any leakages in the freezer!
How To Freeze Dahl
Dahl is one of those dishes that can take a long time to cook, sometimes for hours, to get the best results! So the best way to cook it is in bulk and then freeze any leftovers into handy-sized potions.
Before freezing, you can keep this dish as well as cooked lentils in the fridge for a day or two, but they shouldn’t be kept for any longer than this, and the best time to freeze dahl is when it is still fresh.
The fresher it is, the more fresh taste you can lock in when freezing. So here is how to freeze dahl:
Cool the cooked meal completely to room temperature. Soon after cooking and cooling is the perfect time to freeze it. It is important, however, not to let it sit out at room temperature for too long.
- Bag up
Next, grab yourself a ladle, some freezer bags and a sharpie. Ladle portions into freezer bags and seal them so it is airtight and won’t spill. If you need to, you can double bag them, so you don’t end up with spills in the freezer.
Label the freezer bags with the contents and the date.
Pop them into the freezer where you can keep them for around 6 months.
Although you could store dahl in a plastic container, it will stain the container yellow-orange. This is why using bags is a much better idea.
How to Freeze Dahl with Coconut Milk
If you have cooked up your dahl with coconut milk, then you might run into a few problems if you want to freeze it. Coconut milk doesn’t freeze very well and can separate and curdle in the freezer.
So your dahl may suffer the same fate if it contains coconut milk.
The best advice is not to freeze it or, if possible, to cook up the bulk of your recipe without the coconut milk and freeze it without any milk.
When it comes to thawing and reheating, you can always add the coconut milk at this stage to add the creamy coconut flavour without any of the problems of trying to freeze coconut milk.
Yes, lentil curry can be frozen. First, you must allow it to cool to room temperature, then you can portion it into freezer bags and pop them in the freezer for 6 months.
Although dal makhani can be frozen, the high cream and butter content can cause the texture to change a little once it is defrosted. It can be frozen, however, but expect it to become a little grainy.
How Long Can You Freeze Dahl?
Dahl is the perfect solution to any cooking problem. It’s tasty, very filling and good for you too. On top of that, you can keep it frozen for up to six months.
This is perfect if you have bulk-cooked a batch of dahl and want to have portions on hand whenever you need them.
Dahl left in the freezer for longer than 6 months may start to deteriorate, suffer from freezer burn, and is likely to lose some of its delicious flavours.
Dahl will last in the fridge for 5-6 days. It should be kept in a container with a tight-fitting lid. You should also only reheat a portion at a time as you cannot keep reheating it.
How Do You Defrost Dahl?
When you are ready to thaw out dahl, all you need to do is take it out of the freezer. Pop the bag into a bowl and put it in the fridge to defrost slowly overnight.
This will give you the best results as thawing slowly is important with dishes like this to retain as much flavour and texture as possible.
Once it has been thawed out, your dahl is ready to heat up. Just pop it into a microwave or on the hob and heat up slowly and carefully. Avoid rushing this step; before you know it, you’ll overcook the dahl, and it’ll become mush.
Can You Refreeze Dahl?
You shouldn’t refreeze dahl once you have frozen and then defrosted it. Refreezing isn’t good for any food and will significantly change the food’s quality, taste and texture.
You should aim to use up your defrosted dahl within a few hours and within 24 hours. After this, it will start to deteriorate.
Does Dahl Freeze Well?
If done carefully and it is kept sealed tight, dahl does freeze very well. As long as you follow the instructions above and defrost it slowly, you should retain almost all the flavours that were there when it was fresh.
Make sure you use it all up within 6 months, so you don’t waste any of this delicious food!
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