How to tone down a spicy dish

Written by monica baylor
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How to tone down a spicy dish
Take the heat out of your dish. (sectioned yellow pepper and orange pepper image by Vjom from

Great food is always appreciated. You spend hours in the kitchen getting the recipe just right. The aroma from the pot is mesmerising. The taste is another story. You need a way to tone own your spicy dish. You can handle the heat. Your guests are another story. This is your time to shine as a cook and not flop as novice in the kitchen. Following a few steps can help tone done your spicy dish, while keeping the integrity of the meal.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Milk
  • Sour cream
  • Yoghurt
  • Rice
  • Sugar
  • Pineapple
  • Cilantro
  • Bread

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  1. 1

    Take out the seeds. Many recipes call for hot peppers. Instead of chopping the entire pepper into your dish, use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and membranes. The seeds hold the heat of the pepper. You will still get the nice pepper flavour minus the intense spiciness.

  2. 2

    Add more food to the dish. You can add more ingredients minus the spicy ones. This will more than likely give you a lot of leftovers. If you are making something like chilli and want to keep the size of your meal down add some pineapple. Pineapples will pretty much disappear in your chilli but the sweetness will help counteract the spice of your dish. Sugar will do the same as the pineapples. Squirt lime juice in your overly spicy salsa. For creamy dishes such as soup add yoghurt, sour cream or milk. Dairy neutralises spicy foods. Add chopped potatoes to absorb the spiciness.

  3. 3

    Pick it out. If there are larger items in your dish which are making it too spicy, take those items out. This may be tedious but it will save a few people's mouths from an unnecessary spice overload.

Tips and warnings

  • If your dish has already made it to the table, offer your guests sour cream or chopped cilantro. Cilantro cools the mouth. Serve your spicy dish with plain rice or bread.

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