Can you reheat the Indian takeaway after 2 days?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you reheat the Indian takeaway after 2 days?”, and how to reheat your Indian takeaway?

Can you reheat the Indian takeaway after 2 days?

Yes, you can reheat the Indian takeaway after 2-4 days and the process is as easy as it gets. Indian takeaway should not be refrigerated for more than 2-4 days (3). 

For an extended shelf-life, you can freeze your Indian takeaway for up to 3 months. Defrost the curry in the fridge overnight before reheating. Read on if you want to know how to reheat your 2 to 4-day old Indian takeaway.

Worldwide consumer patterns over the last 10 years have led to lifestyle changes around food intake with a higher reliance on food eaten out of the home, including takeaway food. In the UK, studies showed 22% purchase takeaway food at least once a week (1). 

How to reheat an Indian takeaway curry?

You can reheat a takeaway curry in a microwave, an oven, or on a stovetop. If you opt for the microwave method, pour your takeaway curry in a microwave-safe dish or bowl and microwave on high for about 5 minutes. Stir the sauce after every 1 minute to ensure that the curry heats evenly.

If you opt for the oven method, preheat your oven to 130℃. Place the curry into an ocean-safe dish and cook the curry in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Make sure the curry reaches an internal safe temperature of 82℃. Use a stick thermometer to correctly gauge the temperature.

If you opt for the stovetop method, pour the curry into a non-stick pan and warm over medium-low heat. Serve when the curry is heated through. 

When reheating leftovers, be sure they reach 165° F as measured with a food thermometer. Reheat sauces, soups and gravies by bringing them to a rolling boil. Cover leftovers to reheat. This retains moisture and ensures that food will heat all the way through (2).

All you need to know about reheating takeaways

Eating reheated takeaways has been a popular cause of food poisoning all over the UK and the US. To make sure that no harmful bacteria survive the reheating process, you must reheat your takeaway to a safe internal temperature of 82C (176F).

The food should be piping hot after it is reheated. Only then you will know that it is safe to consume. Each reheating and cooling session increases the likelihood of the growth of harmful bacteria. Therefore, you should never reheat your takeaway twice.

All this information is particularly useful in the case of reheating rice. Rice commonly contains spores of Bacillus cereus. When the spores find suitable growth conditions, in-between cooling and reheating, they produce harmful toxins. 

More than 30 separate incidents of food poisoning outbreaks associated with cooked rice (usually fried) from Chinese restaurants or ‘take away’ shops have been reported in Great Britain since 1971. In London more than 40 incidences of food-poisoning, associated with the consumption of cooked rice, usually from Chinese restaurants and “take-away” shops, were reported where all of these cases were attributed to B. cereus (4).

These toxins withstand the cooking temperatures and lead to vomiting and diarrhea. To deprive the bacillus cereus of growing and producing toxins, cool off your rice and refrigerate it within an hour of cooking.

In most of the cases of food-borne outbreaks comes from Chinese restaurants or takeaway shops which leave the boiled rice to dry off at room temperature. The predominance of cases in these types of restaurants is linked with the common practice of saving portions of boiled rice from bulk cooking. The boiled rice is then stored, usually at room temperature, overnight and these conditions support the growth of bacteria. Similarly in takeaway shops, the ready-to-eat foods are usually kept at room temperature which causes germination and multiplication of B. cereus (4).

Can you reheat Curry and Rice?

You can safely reheat a curry but reheating rice is not the best choice. It is not recommended to reheat rice for food safety purposes. 

Raw rice contains dormant spores of the pathogenic Bacillus cereus. These bacteria get a chance to grow during storage or reheating to produce dangerous gastrointestinal toxins. These toxins are not destroyed by cooking temperatures and lead to food poisoning when ingested.

However, the bacteria as well as their toxin can be destroyed. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), there are some good suggestions to destroy B. cereus for example (4):

  • Steaming under pressure, roasting, frying and grilling foods can destroy the vegetative cells and spores.
  • Foods infested with the diarrheal toxin can be inactivated by heating for 5 min at 133 °F.
  • Foods infested with the emetic toxin need to be heated to 259 °F for more than 90 min. Reheating foods until they are steaming is not enough to kill the emetic toxin.

How to reheat Curry and Rice?

Your best bet is to always cook fresh rice and reheat your frozen or refrigerated curry using the above-mentioned methods. Invest in a rice cooker if you want your rice to turn out perfect every time.

How can you tell if the curry has gone bad? 

Once you have reheated your curry, rub a small amount of curry between the tip of your index finger and thumb. Then slowly separate your fingers. If you see any slimy thread forming between your fingers, the curry is done for.

Microbial spoilage is by far the most common cause of spoilage and may manifest itself as visible growth (slime, colonies), as textural changes (degradation of polymers) or as off-odors and off-flavors (5).

How long does Chinese takeaway last in the fridge? 

Chinese takeaway does not last for more than 2-3 days in the fridge. This only applies if the takeaway was not left on the counter for too long (3). 

What can you do with leftover Indian food?

You can use your leftover Indian curry to make a variety of other Indian dishes. For example, you can cook pasta sauce, Kathi rolls or wraps, Savory pie, Quesadillas, Pizza, Puff pastry pinwheels, Pulled sandwiches or sliders, and tacos, etc. 

How long can Rasam be stored in the fridge?

Rasam can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. Rasam also freezes well and can be safely kept in the freezer for up to a month.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you reheat the Indian takeaway after 2 days?”, and how to reheat your Indian takeaway?

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Davies, Ian Glynn, et al. Saturated and trans-fatty acids in UK takeaway food. Int j food sci nutr, 2016, 67, 217-224. 


Leftovers and Food Safety. US Department of Agriculture. 2020.


Safe handling of take-out foods. US Department of Agriculture. 2013.


Tewari, Anita, and Swaid Abdullah. Bacillus cereus food poisoning: international and Indian perspective. J food sci technol, 2015, 52, 2500-2511.


Pushparajan, N., D. Varadharajan, and P. Soundarapandian. Microbial studies of prepared curries stored in tin free steel cans. J Food Process Technol, 2013, 4, 1000238.