How to Reheat Indian Takeaway Food (Like a Pro!)

Every time my family and I decide to have an Indian takeaway, we always say, “last time, we had way too much, let’s not go crazy this time”. But when it comes to placing the order, everyone tacks items on until we end up with a feast that could feed the entire village.

We always end up with a tonne of leftovers, but we never let them go to waste. I’ve had a lot of experience reheating Indian takeaways, and today I’m going to share all my pro tips.

Can you reheat an Indian takeaway?

You can reheat an Indian takeaway as long as you store it properly in the fridge and reheat it to the safe temperature of 75°C. If you follow the advice in this post, your Indian food will taste just as good as when it was fresh from the restaurant.

How to reheat Indian takeaway in the oven

The easiest way to reheat an Indian takeaway – especially if there’s a lot of it – is to heat all the dishes together in the oven. 

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While your oven is preheating to 180°C, place all the foil containers of rice, biryani, and curry dishes onto a baking tray. Remove the cardboard lids and wrap kitchen foil over the entire tray to cover all the food. Heat in the oven for 20 mins or until the internal temperature of all of the food reaches 75°C.

Place any pakoras, bhaji or samosas on an oven-safe tray or dish, and add them to the oven 5 mins before the end, turning halfway through.

If you have naans that need reheating, spread them onto a tray and add them to the oven for 1 minute for each side. Wrap them in kitchen foil to keep warm until the rest of the food is ready.

This is a very similar method to the one I use for reheating Chinese takeaway in the oven.

How to reheat Indian takeaway in the microwave

The microwave is not a bad option if you’re reheating an Indian takeaway for one or two people. You will have room to reheat the dishes together. Any more than that, and you will have to reheat and eat at separate times.

Transfer your rice and curry into separate microwave-safe bowls and loosely cover. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to each bowl. Microwave for 2 mins, then remove and stir. Microwave again for 2 minutes and check if the temperature has reached 75°C (if you don’t have a thermometer, that means piping hot throughout). 

Microwave times will vary depending on your microwave and the volume of food. If your takeaway is still not hot enough, stir and return to the microwave for 1-minute bursts, stirring in between, until all the food reaches temperature.

Reheat samosas, bhajis and pakoras in the microwave beforehand. They will reach 75°C and be ready in the microwave within 1-2 minutes.

Microwave your naan bread for 20-30 seconds and serve immediately. (Tip: splash the naan bread with water or wrap it in a damp paper towel first).

Best way to reheat an Indian takeaway

The best way to reheat an Indian takeaway is to reheat each dish individually using the best-suited method for each food type.

Reheating using various methods will give you the best chance of restoring the food to its former glory. It will also enable you to cook everything simultaneously and have it ready to eat together without overloading any appliances.

Below I will show you the best way to reheat each of the different Indian takeaway food types based on decades of trial and error.

How to reheat samosa, bhaji or pakora

The air fryer is the best way to reheat samosas, bhajis, and pakoras. Drop them directly into the basket and reheat for 5 minutes at 180°C, shaking halfway through.

How to reheat Indian chicken

If you have any meat such as tandoori chicken leftover, the best way to reheat it is in the oven using an awesome trick I learned from an Indian pro chef.

Take a couple of slices of bread (stale is okay), and put them on a baking tray. Pour stock (or water) onto the bread and lay the chicken on top. The steam from the stock will keep the underside of the meat most, whilst the hot oven cooks the other side.

How to reheat Indian takeaway curry

To reheat curry from an Indian takeaway, it’s best to use the hob. Transfer the curry to a saucepan, and add a few tablespoons of water. Add to a low heat and heat gently whilst covered for 6-8 minutes. Stir frequently.

Tip: Don’t use a saucepan that’s so big that the curry is spread into a thin layer. It may burn too quickly.

How to reheat Indian takeaway rice (or biryani)

To reheat Indian takeaway rice, I always use the microwave. Transfer the rice to a microwaveable bowl, add a few tablespoons of water, cover loosely, and then microwave for 1 minute. Stir the rice, then return to the microwave for 30-second bursts until it’s piping hot throughout (75°C)

How to reheat takeaway naan bread 

The best way to reheat a naan bread is on the hob. Preheat a large flat frying pan over a high heat. Reheat the naan for 20 seconds per side.

I also use this method for reheating doner kebab in naan.

FAQ

Is it safe to reheat an Indian takeaway?

It is safe to reheat an Indian takeaway as long as you stored it in the fridge and didn’t leave it at room temperature for over two hours. Ideally, you should cool it to room temperature and get it into the fridge within an hour because of the rice. Harmful bacteria that can survive reheating can grow on rice if left at room temperature. If you did not put your Indian takeaway in the fridge within two hours of being cooked, throw it away. If you eat it, you’re playing Russian roulette with your guts. Even if you stored your takeaway correctly, you should reheat everything to 75°C to kill off other bacteria.

Can you reheat an Indian takeaway the next day?

You can reheat an Indian takeaway the next day as long as you stored it in the fridge and it has not been sitting at room temperature for over 2 hours. You must reheat it to 75°C to kill any germs.

Can you reheat an Indian takeaway after 2 days?

You can reheat Indian takeaway after two days as long as it is stored safely and correctly in the fridge and reheated to 75°C to kill any bacteria. If it has been longer than two days since the restaurant cooked the food, it’s safest to throw it away.