How to Defrost Curry (Step by Step Instructions)


Saag Paneer Curry Dish

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Defrosting any kind of food can be time-consuming, messy, and a hard task. And if it is a curry, it is bound to get messier. So what should you do? If you are wondering how to defrost curry, you have come to the right place. 

When defrosting any kind of curry, you may need to try out some methods to see what fits best for you. Starting from the most common methods like using a water bath or letting it defrost naturally. You can use the refrigerator, microwave, oven, pan, and even sous vide machine to defrost curry.

Now, some methods may be better than others. Here, I can vouch for a couple of these methods because they take less time, electricity, and resources. But ultimately, it comes down to what you have at hand. So, let’s get into each method and see which one you can use regularly.

All the Ways You Can Defrost Curry

I get it, microwaving the frozen curry seems like the best bet. But trust me, there are a lot more options that will save you the same amount of time as a microwave. The main thing you should look out for is the food consistency. If it smells right and the texture seems fine, you are good to go. Now, let’s get into the methods. 

Defrosting Using the Refrigerator

The refrigerator is not only good at keeping your food cold, but it is also good to bring the temperature up. If you take a frozen curry out of the freezer and want a method that can protect the curry from bacteria as well as defrost it, the refrigerator is a good way to go. 

The Method

Here are the steps you need to take to defrost your food in the refrigerator.

Step 1: You can directly put your curry into the refrigerator from the freezer. If it is in a box, put it on any shelf of the fridge. But if it is in a bag, make sure to put a plate underneath and then on the shelf. 

Step 2: Once the curry is in the fridge, you can leave them in overnight. Usually, that is the amount of time it will take to come to a normal temperature. 

Step 3: Check on it after a night, and see if it is done. 

This method is the best method when you have time on your hands. You do not even have to pay attention to the curry all the time, just pop it in and you are good to go for a night. Additionally, it is the best method to prevent your curry from going bad because of humidity and bacteria. 

Defrosting Using the Microwave

Here comes the most popular method. The problem with this method is that it is very easy to use the wrong settings to try and defrost your curry. Especially because it can defrost one part and keep the other frozen. You can still avoid these problems. Here is how.

The Method

Here are the steps you can take to safely microwave your frozen curry and keep it in the best condition.

Step 1: Check the defrost settings on your microwave. Place your frozen curry in a microwave-safe bowl. 

Step 2: Do not forget to cover the bowl with another plate, and then place it on the microwave plate. 

Step 3: Turn your microwave’s defrost setting on, or set the timer for 2 minutes. After starting the microwave, make sure to check it now and then to see if it is consistent. 

Step 4: Once the time is over, take it out and check if it has defrosted evenly. If it has not, take the defrosted part out of the bowl and restart the microwave. 

Step 5: After the whole curry is warm or at room temperature, reheat it once again to even out the consistency. Check to taste, and make sure to eat it quickly!

Defrosting Using Water Bath

Water baths to defrost food usually take a lot of time. But, it is still one of the ways to get any food item to normal temperature quicker. You can use this method with some adjustments depending on how fast you need to defrost the curry. Let’s get into the method. 

The Method

Here are the steps you will have to follow to defrost your frozen curry using a water bath. 

Step 1: Before you start to put your curry in the water bath, make sure it is sealed. This means you have to wrap your curry in a sealable plastic wrap or bag. You can also use a Ziploc bag.

Step 2: Take some cold water in your sink or in a bowl that is bigger than the bag your frozen curry is in. The water must be cold because otherwise there is a chance of bacteria entering the food. 

Step 3: Check on your curry every 30 minutes and make sure the water is cold. Change the water when it comes to room temperature. 

Step 4: Once the curry looks like it is defrosted, you can take it out of the water and put it in a regular bowl out of the bag. 

This method is quicker than using a refrigerator and slower than the microwave. Either way, it will take around 7-8 hours to defrost and it also has a low chance of contracting bacteria. You can reheat it instantly to enjoy it after it has come to regular room temperature. 

Defrosting Using a Pan

Chicken curry in a frying pan
Chicken curry in a frying pan

Using a pan is one of the quickest methods to defrost your curry. It also has a low chance of contracting any bacteria because it is going to be under direct heat. And hopefully, you will also consume it quickly. Let’s get into the method of defrosting your curry using a pan. 

The Method 

Here are the steps you should take to defrost your curry using a pan. 

Step 1: Take the frozen curry out of the container it is in and put it in a cold saucepan. You should not let it overheat immediately. 

Step 2: Add some water into the saucepan. You can also add juice from tomatoes or some milk into the curry. Any kind of moisture that will hydrate the frozen curry works—if it adds flavor that is even better. 

Step 3: Turn on your stove to medium heat. Put your saucepan on the heat.

Step 4: Once your pan is on the stove, you can use a sharp knife to cut the frozen parts into smaller parts. This will help the smaller parts to defrost quicker than a solid lump of curry. 

Step 5: Stir the saucepan frequently and try to smash the smaller, softer lumps into the liquid. 

Step 6: Keep stirring for around 10-15 minutes or until it looks like it is liquid. Also, check for the temperature, and try to cook it a bit longer so it does not remain cold. 

Step 7: Serve when done. 

This method is the best when you are trying to defrost your curry instantly. You can only defrost small amounts of curry using this method. Make sure to put some kind of liquid into the pan before you put it on the stove—that is key!

Can You Sous Vide to Defrost Your Curry?

Even though it sounds odd, you can use sous vide to defrost your curry. The method is similar to a water bath, but it is much better at saving time. The way you can do this is to use heat-proof bags like Ziplock, your sous vide machine and water. 

Take your sous vide machine and turn it on. Set the temperature to around 75F. Then place your frozen curry in the Ziploc or sealable bag and take all of the air out of the bag. You can use a vacuum sealer for this, but by hand it also works. After that, place it inside the sous-vide pot for about 10-15 minutes or more. 

Once the time is up, check on the bag and see if the curry has defrosted. One thing though, make sure the temperature does not go up too high. Because Ziploc bags will melt under high temperatures. But if you keep it in simmering water, you should have your curry at room temperature very quickly. 

Chef Rooney

I like to cook. It makes me happy, and I know it does the same for others. If you ever want to learn how to make a great dish, just ask!

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