If you freeze foods, do so when they are at their peak of freshness. For best flavour and nutrition, vegetables—especially peas, sweet corn and broad beans, which convert sugar to starch within hours of being picked—are frozen as soon as they’re harvested. Leftover foods can be handy if you freeze them soon after your meal.
Most people don’t try it, but you can freeze curries and eat them after several days. Before eating move it from freezer to fridge so that it thaws gradually and then heat or microwave before serving.
Freeze chapatis and bread. Just see that they are kept in freezer bags or in just any air-tight bag or container so that they don’t absorb any water. Before eating, you can warm frozen sliced bread directly in a toaster, or in a microwave for no longer than 15 seconds. With chapatis, after they thaw and reach room temperature, heat for a few seconds over a flame before serving—much better than microwaving.
Don’t freeze uncooked fleshy fruits or vegetables. They become rock solid, but lose their texture and are often useless after they are thawed.
But try this. Pick spinach leaves and remove the stalks. Blanch the leaves for a few seconds in boiling water or, alternatively, fry them in a little olive oil. Drain, squeeze out any extra moisture, and freeze in serving-sized portions. Frozen spinach is a great stand-by for cooked dishes.
Don’t waste the zest—outer skins—of citrus fruits. Before squeezing, pare the zest and store it in an airtight container in the freezer, adding to it continually. Use it as desired, to flavour some dishes.
Freeze herbs in ice-cube trays. First, wash and chop the herbs, then place a small portion in each ice-cube compartment. Cover with boiling filtered water and place the tray in the freezer. When solid, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. Toss into sauces, casseroles or soups.