Seasonings work differently. For example, sweetness and saltiness increase with the more sugar and salt you add, but you can’t tell exactly how much heat is packed in chilli pepper. Even a tiny portion might end up too much. Also, if you’re making your curry from scratch, watch the amount of spices you put in. Otherwise, you’ll have the same problem I had last night.
Last night, my plate of chicken curry was too spicy to eat. I waited to let it cool down first but that didn’t reduce the spiciness. I was so close to throwing out the whole meal when I decided to search, and now I’ve brought you 5 quick ways to fix a dish that’s too spicy.
- Acid. Liquids like lemon juice or a splash of vinegar, as well as foods like chopped tomatoes or even ketchup, contain acid that can counter the heat from the spiciness.
- Nuts. The fat content of nuts can bring down spice levels. Add a spoonful of peanut butter or almond butter, or even tahini to make food less spicy.
- Sweetener. Adding a little sweetener doesn’t actually make the heat go away, it just blends sweetly with the spice, so you don’t notice it as such. Honey is your best bet, but cinnamon or sugar will be just fine too. Be careful of the amount of sweetener you put in, lest it becomes too sweet and you have a different problem to deal with.
- Dairy. Products like milk, yoghurt, cream and cheese are great. Sour cream is a natural choice to cool down Mexican dishes like enchiladas, burritos and tostadas. Coconut milk, though not a dairy product, also lends great creaminess to dishes and goes well with a lot of Asian flavours.
- Starch. Serving your spicy meal with starch like dinner roll or a flour tortilla, plain rice or plain potatoes, can cool down spicy food.
Pretty sure you’re curious how I ended up salvaging my spicy chicken curry. Well, I chopped up some fresh tomatoes and had a bit of yoghurt to go with it. My stomach was definitely thankful I didn’t throw it out.
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