Too fiery? 6 ways in which you can reduce the spice ‘burn’ in a dish

Too fiery? 6 ways in which you can reduce the spice ‘burn’ in a dish

Here’s how you can soften the piquancy of your recipe without abandoning it

You're greatest enemy could be spicy food ... but here's how you can claim your victory over it Image Credit: Emy/

Dubai: Hues of yellow, green, red and purple take its form on the face of a diner, and the once cool and composed guest is now bathed in perspiration induced from taking a bite from the fiery dish in front of him or her. No glass of water seems to be doing the trick, and so the diner sends the dish back for the chef to tone down the burn of the spice level.

But how does the chef do that? Here are 6 different ways this question has been answered:

1. Dairy to the rescue

Dairy all the way Image Credit: Shutterstock

Whether you are drinking it or adding it in to the dish, dairy is a great way to tone down the heat in a spicy dish. Chillies are spicy because of its capsaicin gland, which gives them the burn. So adding whole fat milk, cream, yoghurt or any dairy product could help reduce the heat.

2. Adding a little bit of sugar

Sugar it up! Image Credit: Shutterstock

A little sugar never hurt anyone, especially because it helps neutralise the extreme piquancy present in your dish. Adding sugar or honey, is also the fastest way you can moderate the heat levels as well.

3. By going nuts

Adding a few nuts or peanut butter is a great way to reduce the heat in your food Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska/

Don’t know what to do with your extra jar of peanut butter? Add it to your extra hot dish instead. Why peanut butter in specific? Because the fat content in the butter helps extinguish the blaze. You can also use ground cashew nuts, almonds or even tahini sauce as alternatives.

4. Adding ingredients

Add in a few vegetables or other ingredients to reduce the spice Image Credit: Martin Lopez/

The safest way to reduce the heat from spices in any dish, is by adding the dominant ingredient of that dish. For example, adding extra meat to a meaty dish, or more vegetables or cottage cheese to a vegetarian dish can also help calm it down.

5. When life hands you lemons

A dash of lemon goes a long way Image Credit: Shutterstock

…add it to your fiery dish, of course. A dash of lemon may not be enough for this, so take a considerable amount of it before pouring it into your spicy dish. If you don’t want to use lemon, you can also use vinegar as an alternative. The acidic component of these two ingredients helps elevate the flavour and reduce the burn from spices, all at the same time.

6. Starch all the way

A little bit of starch? Why not ... Image Credit: Cottonbro/

If you still can’t find a way to reduce the fire in a dish, increase the starch or bread content at the table. Rice, pasta, potatoes and other bread variations can help make it easy on your stomach as well, if you have a low tolerance to spice.

The next time you cook a burningly spiced dish, make sure to keep these tricks up your sleeve, and tweak it to your liking.

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