Can You Freeze Biryani Dishes? – Step By Step
Biryani is such a wonderful comfort food. It can be made with beef, mutton, chicken, prawn, fish or even vegetables, and provides a great way to cook a large portion to feed a whole bunch of people, or to keep for meals in the future.
As you cannot keep your leftover biryani in the fridge indefinitely, can you freeze it? Yes, biryani can be frozen in an airtight container or plastic wrap or bag. It’s important to cool down the biryani to room temperature before placing it in the freezer to reduce frozen condensation on your food.
Freezing biryani can be really easy and offers a convenient way to have some food ready for when you want a quick, stress-free meal at home. Rice is cheap to cook in bulk, and with a few extra ingredients, you can have a delicious biryani ready to eat and freeze for future meals.
How To Freeze Biryani
It can be really simple to freeze portions of biryani to enjoy later on, and the same rules pretty much apply for when freezing other rice dishes.
There are a few ways to freeze biryani, and here is how:
Air Tight Containers
One of the more popular ways to freeze biryani is to use airtight containers. These can be bought from your local store, or you might have a stash at home already.
To freeze biryani in an airtight container, scoop out enough biryani to full the airtight container, but remember to leave a small amount of room, you don’t want to have it spilling out when thawed.
Leave the lid of the airtight container off until the biryani has cooled down to room temperature. Only when the biryani has cooled down can you close and secure the lid of the container.
Using a label or marker, write down the date that the biryani was cooked onto the container. This helps you judge when you should eat the biryani before it starts to lose its flavor and qualities.
Place the airtight container in the freezer.
You will need to cut out as much plastic wrap as you would need to cover your portion of biryani.
Place the plastic wrap on the top of a rice bowl, with the biryani inside the bowl. Turn the bowl upside down, and remove the rice bowl from on top of the plastic wrap.
Cover the plastic wrap around the rice, making sure there is enough to cover all sides.
Try and remove any excess air from the rice inside the plastic wrap, do this by maneuvering the rice into a square or rectangular shape and flatten out each side. This not only helps to get rid of excess air but shapes the rice to be organized easily when frozen.
Place the plastic-wrapped rice into an airtight freezer bag and seal it. Use a marker to write down the date of cooking onto the plastic freezer bag for easy reference later on.
This method of using plastic wrap is especially helpful if you are portioning out smaller batches of biryani to have as several meals later on. They can all be portioned according to the amount you need, and still placed inside one bag with the cooking date.
Reheating Frozen Biryani
Once it is time to enjoy your frozen biryani, you will need to know how to thaw and reheat it properly as to not destroy the taste or texture. Remember to only reheat as much biryani as you are going to eat, and avoid reheating any more as you cannot freeze it for a second time after heating.
Reheating Biryani in Airtight Containers
Remove the airtight container with the biryani from the freezer and leave it to thaw in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours at best.
Once partially thawed, open the lid of the container and sprinkle some water onto the top of the biryani. Place the container in the microwave, or use a microwave-friendly dish if the container isn’t microwavable, and leave it to heat for 2 minutes.
As the biryani heats up, stir it and leave it to rest for a minute. This allows the heat to distribute evenly throughout the biryani.
Place it back into the microwave and heat for another minute. Continue this until the biryani has heated all the way through.
Reheating Biryani in Plastic Wrap
Reheating biryani which has been frozen in plastic wrap is super easy. Simply remove the biryani from the individual plastic wrapping and transfer it to a microwavable bowl.
Place this bowl with the frozen biryani into the microwave with some water sprinkled on top of the biryani.
Heat it up for a couple of minutes, stirring every now and then and leaving it to rest so that the heat distributes evenly. Continue this until all of the biryani has been heated through completely.
Reheating Biryani on The Stove
If you have a large amount of biryani to reheat, it would be better to heat it over the stove. Try to leave the biryani to thaw in the fridge overnight.
You will have better results when heating up biryani which has been partially thawed on the stovetop compared to biryani which is still frozen solid.
To do this, find a suitable saucepan that will hold all of the biryani, and then have some space to spare. Turn it onto medium heat and place the biryani into the saucepan.
Sprinkle some water on top of the biryani to ensure that it does not lose too much moisture. Continue stirring the biryani to loosen it, and continue to do this until it has been heated through.
Bonus Reheating Method: Rice Cooker
If you want to learn how to reheat rice dishes in a rice cooker, check out this article.
Tips For Freezing Biryani
The trick to freezing biryani is to ensure that there is no excess air or water content in the container. If there is any, the food will suffer from freezer burns, which will really affect the taste, smell and texture of the food. Try to drain any excess water or push any extra air out of the biryani before freezing it.
When reheating the biryani, you should splash some water over the biryani before putting it onto heat, to add moisture back to the biryani and to prevent it from drying out.
How Long Does Biryani Last In The Fridge?
Leftover biryani can stay good in the fridge for up to 4 days if it is kept in an airtight container.
You can eat smaller portions from the airtight container, but do not heat up a single portion of biryani more than once after it has been cooked. This could lead to an increase in bacteria growth which could lead to food poisoning.
To make life a little easier, you should portion your leftover biryani into smaller sections, refrigerate what you will eat within the next few days, and freeze portions that you will eat later on. This way you will have a good amount of quick meals ready to be eaten, which still have that delicious homemade taste.
Keep some spare raita which is whipped yogurt with cilantro or green chili paste to serve as the perfect side with the biryani. Alternatively, cooking up some biryani gives you the perfect excuse to whip up some dhal as well!
Is it safe to reheat chicken biryani which is two days old?
It is safe to reheat chicken biryani which has been refrigerated in an airtight container which is two days old. The best way to reheat it is in the microwave.
Heat the biryani for a minute and then stir it around, leave it to rest and heat it again. This is the best way to ensure that all of the biryani is heated through completely, and any bacteria is killed off with the high heat.
Be sure not to overcook the biryani in the microwave, as it could dry out and not taste great at all.
Which rice is best for biryani?
The quality of the biryani will be as good as the quality of the ingredients you use. The type of rice you use to cook your biryani is so important, as it can give the perfect texture and taste.
The best rice to use is Basmati rice. The long and slender grains become fluffy and light when cooked, and if cooked right, the long-grained Basmati rice does not stick together.
This helps to make a biryani that is not too heavy to eat, and which does not clump together too much.
Biryani is possibly one of the best meals to make ahead to freeze in smaller portions to enjoy later on. It is a fairly cheap dish to make, and you can make large quantities at one time.
Freezing biryani is simple as well, and you can either freeze it in one large batch or in smaller batches to be enjoyed at different times.
It is also really easy to reheat frozen biryani, all you need to do is sprinkle some water on the top and pop it in the microwave. Get cooking and freezing to grow a stash of frozen biryani for when the craving hits!