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Few days ago Nupur did a post on Freezing Indian Food. Since I saw her post, I was thinking of doing a post here. Today I thought of showing you my freezer. I am not into freezing curries and buying frozen dinners from the store. So, don’t expect any curries in my freezer. I prefer and like cooking fresh food every day or cook food for 2-3 days and refrigerate it when needed. I am also not a big fan of frozen vegetables. I prefer cooking fresh vegetables. Then what do I have in my freezer? Well, my freezer is always full. Today it is not fully stocked up as it usually is. It has been almost a month since I did my Indian groceries and also, I need to replenish my ginger garlic and onion masala paste. Lately, I am not stocking up desserts either! Shall we peep into my freezer now?
|In the top two shelves are my frozen vegetables & legumes; green peas, lima beans, pigeon peas, papdi lilva, val lilva, valor (indian broad beans or chikkudukaya) and sweet corn. I also have a one or two packets of frozen green chilies, tindora and bitter gourd for emergencies.
Packets on the top are unopened and the ones below are opened packets. I don’t like canned beans hence soak dry beans over night and cook them the next day. I usually soak them in bulk, cook it and store them in a quart size ziploc bags. Cooked beans I freeze are garbanzo beans, black chana and black eyed peas. Whenever I need to use them, I added it directly to curries or masalas. If using in salads, I wash them in water, microwave it for few seconds, rinse them again in water and toss in my salads.
|In the third shelf are my raw meats, seafood and poultry. I cut them into desired size, store them in freezer bags. I always write the day I froze them. This way it is easy to know which packet needs to consumed first.
In the fourth compartment are my pastes and cooked food. The pastes I freeze are ginger garlic paste (here is a picture of gg containers ready to freeze), onion masala paste and home tamarind paste. I am not a big fan of freezing cooked food and if I have any excess food; I freeze it once in a while. The cooked food that I freeze regularly is kheema. I cook kheema with some ginger garlic paste. chili powder and salt. I freeze it in containers that are good for one meal. I thaw it in the fridge the night before or microwave it for few minutes before making the curry or fry. This (re-cooking and freezing the kheema) reduces the cooking time almost by half.
In the bottom shelf go the samosas, spring rolls, pasty sheets and pastry shells.
In the door side compartments go the gelatos, ice-creams, desserts, roti, parathas, boxed vegetables and anything that has no room in the freezer shelves. Right now I only have key lime gelato in my freezer. I also keep a few boxes of frozen appetizers as such as popcorn shrimp.
You can always/most of the time find these in my freezer. When I have company, I stock up with lot more frozen desserts and breakfasts. Sometimes I freeze food that I have not consumed by it’s sell by date such as ham, sausages, cheese etc.
Onion Paste: Today, a reader asked me how I prepare my onion masala paste for gravies. I roast some onions and whole garam masala until light golden color. Add tomatoes and roast until tomatoes are soft and mushy. Add a little bit of salt and turmeric. Let it cool and grind to paste. You can follow the first step in preparation in my Mushroom Masala.