Rich, filling and loaded with lentils, dahl is one of those dishes that’s perfect 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!
Can You Refreeze Dahl? No
Does Dahl Freeze Well? Yes
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 you have 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 ingredients or meal completely to room temperature. Soon after cooking and cooling is the perfect time to freeze it. It is important, however, to not 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 any spills in the freezer. Ultimately, this will come down to the quality of your freezer bags.
Label the freezer bags with the contents and the date.
Pop them into the freezer and freeze.
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 to not freeze it or if possible to cook up the bulk of your recipe without the coconut milk and freeze without any milk in it.
When it comes to thawing and reheating then 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.
3 Tips for Freezing Dahl
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing dahl to have the best results:
Avoid Coconut Milk
Unfortunately, coconut milk does not freeze that well. Try to make the dahl up without coconut milk which you can then stir through once it has been frozen and thawed.
Use Good-Quality Bags
The last thing you want is for dahl to leak all over your freezer so make sure you use good-quality, thick freezer bags for freezing dahl in.
Label It Clearly
You’ll struggle to tell the difference between butternut squash soup and dahl (and any other yellow/orange food) when it is frozen so make sure you write a clear, legible label.
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 it is likely to lose some of its delicious flavour.
You Can Freeze Dahl for Around 6 Months
How Do You Defrost Dahl?
When you are ready to thaw out your 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 really 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 as, before you know it, you’ll overcook the dahl and it’ll become mush.
Can You Refreeze Dahl?
No, you shouldn’t refreeze dahl once you have frozen and then defrosted it. Refreezing isn’t good for any food and it will significantly change the quality, taste and texture of the food.
You should be aiming to use up your defrosted dahl within a few hours and definitely 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 then you should retain almost all of the flavours that were there when it was fresh.
Just make sure you use it all up within 6 months so you don’t waste any of this delicious food!
If you’ve still got questions about freezing dahl or dahl in general, then these may help:
This is something we would avoid, unfortunately. When it comes to takeaways, it is impossible to know the origin of the food and whether or not it has already been frozen. If it has, then you won’t really want to refreeze it.
Chickpea dahl freezes really well, if it is made without coconut milk. The method is exactly the same when it comes to freezing dahl made with chickpeas. You’ll want to cook it, cool it and then portion it into bags before sealing up and freezing. You can learn more about freezing chickpeas here.
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