Spice Up Your Kitchen! 5 Fiery Fixes for Overly

If you can’t stand the heat, stay in the kitchen — and let’s fix this thing by toning down the spiciness. Yes, it is possible to mellow the heat of a dish that turned out spicier than planned. It all comes down to incorporating ingredients that neutralize and balance spicy flavors. And you may just find that by the time you’re finished, your modified recipe is even tastier than the original plan.

How to Make Food Less Spicy

Photo by KGora.

Go Nuts on It

For some dishes, such as stir-fries, curries, chilis, and stews, adding a scoop of peanut butter will help smother the flames. (Who knows, you might even end up liking the extra flavor and creamy texture.) Also try cashew or almond butter. Tahini is another option.

Photo by LilSnoo.

Lengthen and Un-strengthen

If you have more of the recipe’s ingredients on hand, toss ’em in. Or improvise, and add an additional ingredient that will play well with the recipe while neutralizing the spiciness. Good candidates might include broth, canned beans, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, avocados, coconut milk, and cooked rice.

Homemade Creme Fraiche.Chef John

Do the Dairy

Now here’s some news you can use. Turns out, the fiery chemical in hot chilis, capsaicin, likes to bind itself onto a compound in milk, which neutralizes the burn. Add a generous dollop of sour cream, creme fraiche, or yogurt to scorching hot chili or stews, or even a touch of milk or cream. For best results, though, go with full-fat dairy. For tomato sauces and stews that don’t want dairy, try shredding some cheese on top.

Photo by Meredith.

Sweet Defeats Heat

Adding something sweet to a too-spicy dish is another great way to reduce spiciness. A sprinkle of sugar or honey should do the trick. Or add a touch of sweet ketchup. If it’s a tomato-based sauce, stir in a little more tomato sauce and maybe a touch of sugar.

Moroccan Preserved Lemons.Allrecipes

Add Some Acid

Add a squeeze of lemon or lime. Bonus Benefit: A little lemon juice can also brighten up flavors. If it’s a tomato-based sauce, adding more tomato sauce can help. Also effective, a dash of vinegar.


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