Biryani is the ultimate Indian one-pot meal packed full of spice, flavour and comfort. Not is it only delicious but it’s also incredibly versatile, from lamb and chicken to completely vegetarian options.
But can you bulk prepare a biriyani and can you freeze biryani for a later date?
Biryani can be frozen for up to 2 months. Once cooled, portion into airtight containers before placing them into the freezer to store.
Can You Refreeze Biryani? No
Does Biryani Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Biryani
If you want to freeze biryani then these are the steps to take. Before you get started though, you should only freeze homemade biryani.
Unfortunately, biryani from your local Indian takeaway may have been frozen in the past and you won’t want to keep freezing the rice.
- Cook and Cool
Cook your biryani then allow it to cool to room temperature. As soon as it has cooled down move on to the next step.
- Portion Out
Tip your biryani into containers with tight-fitting lids. You will want the containers to be the equivalent size of a portion so you can defrost one portion at a time as and when you need it.
- Seal Tight
Attach the lid, ensure the seal is tight.
Optionally, if you want to prevent air from getting in and to stop the odour of the biryani from escaping into your freezer, wrap the container in a layer of cling film.
Place in the freezer.
3 Tips for Freezing Biryani
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing biryani to have the best results:
Wrap the Containers
Biryani is full of spices. If you don’t use good-quality containers and/or wrap those containers then there is a risk you will stink your freezer out with Indian spices.
Add Fresh Herbs After Thawing
Try not to freeze biryani sprinkled with fresh herbs. Instead, add those herbs once you have thawed and reheated the biryani. This will bring a layer of freshness to the dish.
Freeze In Portions
You won’t want to refreeze biryani so make sure you freeze it into containers that are portion-sized so you can defrost one portion at a time and avoid unwanted waste in future.
How Long Can You Freeze Biryani?
Biryani should only be kept in the freezer for a couple of months. After this time, the taste will degrade and it won’t be quite as pleasant to eat, unfortunately. When you freeze your biryani, make sure you label it with the date it needs to be consumed.
You Can Freeze Biryani for up to 2 Months
How Do You Defrost Biryani?
The best approach to take when defrosting biryani is slow and steady. Plan ahead and when you know you want to eat biryani take a portion out of the freezer the night before and place it on a dish in the fridge to thaw overnight.
It can take around 36hrs for your biryani to defrost thoroughly so give it time.
When it comes to reheating it, you can then use a microwave or place it in a pan with a splash of water until heated through. Make sure you’ve got a few onion bhajees to serve alongside too!
Can You Refreeze Biryani?
We would strongly advise against refreezing biryani. There is most a risk that it will become ridden with bacteria and therefore be dangerous. You may also find that the cooked rice becomes mushy and unenjoyable to eat.
Does Biryani Freeze Well?
Biryani will freeze really well. If only frozen for a month or two, the flavour will not change nor will the texture. If you do leave it longer, however, then there is a small chance the flavour will begin to degrade.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing biryani or biryani in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Leftover Biryani?
It’s vital that you allow your biryani to completely cool to room temperature but it’s also important that you don’t leave it sitting at room temperature for long. If you plan on freezing leftover biryani then do it as quickly as you can.
Is It OK to Freeze Rice Dishes?
There is often a misconception that you must never reheat rice. The problem is that if it is not cooled and stored correctly then it can harbour bacteria. But if you follow the right method for freezing it, then most rice dishes can be frozen. This includes paella, risotto and pilaf!
Can You Freeze Biryani with Paneer?
Biryani containing most meats and cheeses will freeze well. We’ve actually written a whole article dedicated to freezing paneer which you may want to take a look at.
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