Food & Drinks

6 Tips to Tame Food that's Got too Spicy

By FDL on

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6 Tips to Tame Food that's Got too Spicy
Photo Tom Page / Flickr

We gave you tips on how to fix over salted food, now we take a look at what to do when a dish gets too got too hot to handle.

We’ve all been there, gone overboard on the spice disappointed by an apparantly mild chilli pepper, confused mild chilli for hot chilli or just genuinely got carried away.

Knowing what to do in an over heated situation can rescue a dish from the brink of disaster and red faces all round. Take a look at some solutions to hamper the heat.

6 Tips:


Acid is very effective at cutting through heat. Try using vinegars or squeezing in some fresh citrus juices like lemon or lime or any other acidic ingredient like tomatoes, that won't damage the flavours of your dish.

Photo: KSayer1/Flickr


Sugar also works well in neutralising spice, particularly when used in combintation with acid. Add the sugar tentatively to avoid over-sweetening your dish. Otherwise try adding honey, or a sauce with a high sugar content like tomato ketchup.


Milk, sour cream or yoghurt all work well to combine into the dish to calm the spice. It's no surprise that Indian cuisine contains many dairy based accompaniments like lassis and raitas.

Photo: Andrew Magill/Flickr


Adding chopped potato or shredded carrot to an over spiced dish are sure fire winners according to some folk. The porous nature of the potato combined with the release of sugars might go some way to salvaging a dish.


Some people believe nuts can relieve the excess heat, try stirring in some nut butters eg tahini, almond butter etc if it’s suitable for your dish.

Photo: Cowbell Solo/Flickr


If you’ve made a soup you can always add more broth or stock to tone down the heat.  If all else fails, make more of the original dish – add more rice, more beans more tomatoes – anything that is going to disperse the heat across a larger quantity of food reducing the intesity of the heat in each portion served.

Do you have any other winning tips we haven't mentioned?

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