Authentic Nonya Curries in under 30 minutes

I can’t speak for everyone, but if you are serving more than 10 people, I would normally prepare my dishes prior (or at least partially) and freeze them. Then before guests arrive defrost and heat up as needed.

One would have to question, with readymade pastes – why would I prepare beforehand and not cook on the day?

Yes, I would agree, using readymade pastes is the efficient way to go about it; however when you have guests with you, you need time to entertain and be with them, right?

The preparation of each dish will take up time, i.e. chopping, washing etc. So if you want to prepare 3-4 dishes, that preparation would take up valuable time away from entertaining, and you end up spending time in the kitchen instead. This totally defeats the purpose of family gatherings in the first place, don’t you agree?

In the blog post – how to prepare a meal for 10 in under an hour, I mentioned I cooked tau ewe bak, jew hoo char, curries etc. and kept them in the freezer.

So today, let’s explore which curry is suitable for freezing?

I would say – most meat curries. However, I would leave the coconut milk and vegetables out until I reheat the curries for serving.

The reason is when we defrost vegetables, they tend to be soggy after freezing. So I only add the vegetables while I am heating up the curries and serve them fresh.

And for meat curries, you would want to boil them properly before consuming, and add coconut milk just before serving. The reason you would not want to boil the coconut milk together with the meat, is to prevent it from separating from the gravy, which makes it look like it has curdled, and in Malaysia, we call it “pecah minyak”.

So, cook all your meat curries and freeze them in containers. Defrost them on the day you need them and add vegetables and coconut milk when needed.

The curries I recommend for freezing:


I would cook the curry and freeze. What to leave out until later? Kerisik, coconut milk.

Curry Chicken                                          

I would cook the curry and freeze. What to leave until later? Potatoes (boil and add to the curry before serving), coconut milk.

Curry Kapitan

I would cook the curry and freeze. What to leave until later? Coconut milk.

As for fish curries, this is a bit tricky – because seafood is quick to cook, so this is what I might do –

I will prewash the fish and freezed them. When you are ready to cook, just the fish or seafood, add the vegetables on top of the fish. It would take no longer than 15 minutes.

Remember, family time is a great opportunity to connect, bond and build relationships. The festive season is when family members MAKE the time to connect, so find the easiest ways to make entertaining fun and enjoyable.

Remember, people remember how you make them feel, not what you tell them! Let’s cook with love, and make sharing your favourite dishes with your family an enjoyable and memorable event to remember.

Have a wonderful day ahead.

>> Recipe for Chicken Curry

>> Recipe for Curry Kapitan

>> Recipe for Rendang Curry

>> Recipe for Seafood Curry

>> Recipe for Nonya Assam

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