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How Long Does Curry Last? Does Curry Go Bad?

Curry is among my favorite dishes, despite not being Indian – and that is largely thanks to its impressive adaptability that allows you to make it with a wide range of flavors and ingredients.

However, it is not a dish you eat every day, and you may worry about its preservation when you need to store some of it in your fridge or pantry.

How long does curry last, then? The time it takes for your curry dish to remain fresh depends on several factors and varies on where you store it; although the consensus it takes to remain fresh is between 2 and 4 days.

A curry stew that has gone bad can make you sick due to its ingredients, not to mention leaving a bad impression on your taste buds – so it is always helpful to know what to expect in terms of curry shelf life and what you can do to minimize spoilage.

How Long Does Curry Last? Does Curry Go Bad?

how long does curry last does curry go bad

Yes, curry can go bad.

The time it takes for the curry to go bad will mainly depend on the preparation method, storage, and ingredients, although the overall consensus is that it takes between 2 and 4 days to go bad.

As a rule, using fresh spice ingredients result in the short shelf life of a few hours, while using dried spices allows the curry to last for a day or slightly longer.

However, the safest time to assume its freshness at room temperature is a maximum of 2 hours, with all-vegan curries such as broccoli and cabbage curry lasting up to 4 hours in the same conditions.

Meat curries like chicken curry will spoil the fastest, so ensure you do not leave them at room temperature beyond 1 to 2 hours.

If you are planning to store the curry and eat it on another day in the freshest state possible, your best option to use is the fridge.

If you decide to do so, it can last between 1 and 2 days, but you must pay attention to the storage conditions such as the container you use.

Ensure the container is clean, airtight, and has a lid, aluminum foil, or a plastic wrap cover, and keep the curry in the fridge once its temperature cools down.

Certain curry types can also last longer in the fridge – coconut milk curries such as black bean curry and chickpeas curry last between 2 and 4 days in the fridge, while tofu curries can remain fresh for up to a week.

On the other hand, freezers allow the curry to remain fresh for up to 6 months – although it will not taste as fresh.

If you keep it in this state, thaw it in your fridge overnight when you want to eat it and reheat it over low to medium stove heat.

How to Tell if Curry is Bad?

how to tell if curry is bad

The good thing about curry is the ease of knowing whether it is good or not, because bad curry that has a strange taste will alert you that there is something wrong.

As curry dishes do not last long, there are certain signs to look out for before tasting the food, which includes:

  • Odor.

You can hardly mistake the smell of fresh curry – the aroma is strong and flavorful.

Similarly, you may notice spoilt curry having a smell like sour milk, which should alert you to discard it immediately.

All odor changes are due to bacterial growth and multiplication, as these microorganisms produce waste as they feed on the food.

  • Appearance.

Fresh curry has a certain appearance and bright color to it, so an off appearance should be the first thing you notice.

If you see the color looking dull, throw it away immediately.

The color change occurs due to chemical reactions in the food when it is exposed to oxygen, as well as possible molding on the surface of the food – especially the rice you eat with the curry.

  • Texture.

If your nose is having an off day and you cannot smell the food, you can try to touch the curry and notice its texture.

It should not feel slimy – if you rub some of it between your fingers and the response is a slimy texture, you must throw it away.

Blame the water content in the food for this, which leads to chemical reactions that facilitate the growth of bacteria that spoil the food.

How Long Does Curry Last? Does Curry Go Bad?

Looking to ensure your curry stays fresh and delicious? Here's a guide on how long curry lasts and whether it goes bad.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Curry
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


Curry shelf life:

  • Room temperature: Lasts between 1 to 4 hours, with meat curries lasting up to 2 hours and vegetable curries lasting up to 4 hours.
  • Fridge: Depends on the curry ingredients. Most curries can last between 1-2 days, while tofu curries can last up to 1 week.
  • Freezer: Can last up to 6 months.


u003cliu003eMake sure to label your container with the content and date.u003c/liu003eu003cliu003eStore the container in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or fridge.u003c/liu003eu003cliu003eIf you freeze the product, thaw it in the fridge before using. Always check for signs of spoilage before using.u003c/liu003e
Keyword how long does curry last
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