How long is lentil dahl safe in the fridge for?
November 2, 2017 4:24 AM   Subscribe

I bought some sealed plastic containers of freshly-cooked lentil dahl on the evening of Tuesday 31 October and put it straight in the fridge. Just now, the evening of Thursday 2 November, I put it in the freezer. The ingredients are lentils, oil, tumeric and bay leaves.

How many days can I safely microwave and eat the frozen dahl for?

What date should I throw it out?
posted by Murderbot to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's in the freezer, not the fridge? The standard amount of time you can freeze things for is three months. But honestly in practice, it's usually much longer. That dal is unlikely to go bad in the freezer anytime soon.

If you're asking about taking it out of the freezer and keeping it in the fridge at a later date, you can probably keep it in the fridge for 4-5 days at a time.
posted by lunasol at 4:34 AM on November 2, 2017

It was in the fridge - for Tuesday night, all day Wednesday, and most of the day Thursday.

I only just put it in the freezer tonight.
posted by Murderbot at 4:39 AM on November 2, 2017

I’d be comfortable keeping it frozen for months if needed (not that it would last that long in my house!). I think the flavor will disappear in the freezer before it becomes unsafe to eat. I don’t think 2 days in the fridge will have changed that equation at all.
posted by snowmentality at 4:41 AM on November 2, 2017 [11 favorites]

I'd say it's fine for a while, even with the fridge time. At least a few months. Just re-heat it well.

Source: half Indian family, and we ate lots and lots and lots of daal growing up, and 48 hours in the fridge probably wouldn't register as any kind of health offense.
posted by raztaj at 4:44 AM on November 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yes, two nights in a fridge is fine for curry, and it can then be frozen and safely eaten for months.

This is all totally normal and even within the USDA’s food safety guidelines, not an issue in any way whatsoever.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:42 AM on November 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Still Tasty says you're well within the safe zone. Three days would probably be my personal limit before freezing (because I'll forget the history and maybe thaw the soup in the fridge for two days before eating it.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:55 AM on November 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I freeze various soups (often but not always lentil-based) after they've been in the fridge for a few days all the time. When I thaw and eat them months later, it's always been totally fine. My personal limit is probably 5ish days.

Also, I keep a pack of labels in the kitchen so I can always label what goes in my freezer with a description of contents and a date. If you're worried, you could add to the label how many days it was in the fridge so you know to eat it fairly soon after thawing, too.
posted by 168 at 6:01 AM on November 2, 2017

I cook a lot of Dahl and other curries - it’s just fine for a few days in the fridge. I think the flavor of some things really improves after cooling and reheating. My limit before freezing or tossing it is about three days, but I’m probably being a bit of a wimp there.
posted by faineg at 6:03 AM on November 2, 2017

My limit for food kept in the fridge (not freezer) is the 7 days, especially if you have cooked it yourself and made sure you used the best storage procedures (like, not leaving warm food out for a long time before putting it in the fridge, using only clean dry storage containers, etc). So I say you are well within okay. But that is just me.
posted by moiraine at 7:20 AM on November 2, 2017

I think it's the thawing and microwaving and freezing cycle that would be degrading the life of the soup at this point.

I would just store the soup in the freezer in individual servings so I could sidestep the whole issue.
posted by aniola at 8:20 AM on November 2, 2017

Months. Years probably, safetywise.
posted by kjs4 at 2:36 PM on November 2, 2017

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