Can You Freeze Curry Paste? Easy Guide

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Curry paste is an essential ingredient in many Asian and Indian dishes. It adds a depth of flavor that is hard to achieve with other seasonings alone.

Many cooks like to make their own curry paste so they can control the spice level and ingredients. But what do you do with the leftover homemade curry paste? Can you freeze curry paste to save it for later?

Why Make Homemade Curry paste?

Here are some of the biggest benefits of making your own curry paste instead of buying it pre-made:

Customize the flavors.

When you make the curry paste yourself, you can adjust the quantities of each ingredient to suit your tastes. Add more or less garlic, ginger, chilies, lemongrass, etc. This allows you to make the paste as mild or spicy as you want.

Control the quality.

Pre-made pastes often contain preservatives and anti-caking agents. By making it fresh at home, you can avoid these additives. You also know exactly what ingredients are used, with no mystery fillers.

Save Money

While pre-made pastes are convenient, they are expensive for the amount you get. Homemade works out much cheaper per use. Buying the spices in bulk packages brings down the cost tremendously.

Avoid Waste

Jarred curry paste often goes bad before you can use up the whole container. Making smaller batches as needed helps reduce waste. Any leftover homemade paste can be easily frozen.

Storing and Freezing Curry Paste

When you make a flavorful curry paste from scratch, you’ll want to save any extra so it doesn’t go to waste.

Here are some tips on storing curry paste:

Fridge Storage

Leftover homemade curry paste will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a month. Store it in an airtight container, and make sure there is a layer of oil covering the top before sealing. This prevents oxidation.

Freezer Storage

For longer storage, curry paste can be frozen. It will keep for 3–4 months in the freezer without losing flavor or potency. To freeze, pack the paste into freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible before sealing.

Some separation of the oil may occur after thawing, so stir the paste before using. Add a tablespoon of water while stirring if it seems too thick.

Storage Tips

  • Only freeze fresh curry paste, not leftovers from the fridge.
  • Portion the paste out before freezing so you can thaw just what you need later.
  • Make sure to label the containers with the date and type of curry paste.
  • Fill bags and containers as full as possible to reduce air pockets and freezer burn.
  • Use glass or plastic containers instead of metal, as the spices can react with metal.
  • After thawing, add a splash of water if the paste seems dry.

What Type of Curry Paste Freezes Well?

Most curry pastes freeze very well for later use. Here are some of the most common varieties that retain excellent flavor when frozen:

Thai Red and Green Curry Paste

Both red and green Thai curry pastes freeze beautifully. The aromatics like lemongrass, garlic, and chilies hold up well. Add some coconut milk after thawing for best results.

Indian Curry Pastes

Indian pastes made with spices like cumin, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom also freeze nicely. The bold flavors of the spices remain intact.

Japanese Curry Paste

Japanese curry paste contains warm spices like garam masala as well as apples and honey. It freezes and reheats nicely for hearty curries.

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Yellow curry gets its golden color from spices like turmeric and cumin. It freezes well for future Thai curry dishes. Add coconut milk upon thawing for a smooth sauce.

Massaman Curry Paste

This rich Thai paste is made with cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, peanuts, and toasted coconut. The nuts and coconut freeze nicely and retain their flavor.

FAQ About Freezing Curry Paste

Freezing curry paste is a great way to save the leftovers of homemade paste for future use.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the process:

How long does homemade curry paste last in the freezer?

Most homemade curry pastes will keep well in the freezer for 3–4 months. After that time, they can lose potency and flavor. Be sure to label the containers with the date to track freshness.

Can you freeze store-bought curry paste?

Yes, jarred curry pastes that you purchase can also be frozen after opening. Be aware that pre-made pastes often contain preservatives already, so they may last longer in the fridge. But freezing will further extend their shelf life.

Should curry paste be thawed before use?

For the best flavor and texture, thaw the curry paste in the fridge overnight before using. But for a quicker option, you can run the container under warm water or briefly microwave it to thaw. Stir well before adding it to the dish.

Does freezing change the taste of curry paste?

Most curry pastes retain their original flavor when frozen. As long as they are frozen when fresh, the taste and potency remain intact after thawing. The paste may be slightly more watery, but stirring will recombine it.

Can curry paste be frozen more than once?

It’s best to only freeze curry paste once. Refreezing and thawing multiple times can degrade the flavors. Only freeze what you anticipate using within a few months.

How should you reheat frozen curry paste?

Gently heat the paste along with other sauce ingredients like coconut milk or tomatoes. Do not microwave or boil the paste on its own, as this can cause separation. Stir frequently while reheating.

Do you need to add anything to curry paste before freezing?

Adding a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil on top of the paste before freezing can help prevent oxidation and freezer burn. But otherwise, nothing extra needs to be added; simply freeze the fresh paste as is.


So in summary, yes, you can absolutely freeze leftover curry paste for later use. Follow proper storage methods, and your homemade curry paste will retain its delicious flavor for months, saving you from wasting a drop of this aromatic ingredient.


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