March 17, 2019

5 best ways to fix the spice level in food

Those who are used to a lot of spice in their food, might not want to read this article, but you might be able to help those who aren't able to take too much spice.


What factor are involved in making food spicy? 

 Capsaicin (found in peppers) is what makes food spicy.  Capsicum sticks on to the receptors which are located in your mouth to let your brain know how hot or spicy the food is. Capsicum regardless of the temperature triggers the receptors which in turn makes you sweat and tear out! 

Different peppers consist of different levels of heat. The heat level in each pepper is determined with the Scoville scale which was invented for raising awareness amongst people.   

Scoville scale for peppers by chef's satchel


5 best ways to lessen the spice from the food. 

1) Adding more ingredients of the dish 

So, you've made a mistake for adding too much spice and now you're in a little bit of trouble. The one way to fix it is to add more ingredients to the dish. This will help mask the spice. For example, if the dish is tomato base, don't be shy to add another can of tomato and adjust the seasoning accordingly. 

2) Adding sweetness. 

Add some kind of sweetness to a dish will tame the spice. Ingredients like honey and sugar can be handy in reducing the spice level of food. Make sure that you taste your food as you go. Too much of something can run a dish. 

3) Nut butter 

This can be a great solution. Nut butter is fatty and not overpowering. You've added a little too much of those amazing bird's eye chilis to your Thai noodles, simply heat up some peanut butter with a touch of stock or water and add it to your noodles. This is sure to reduce the spiciness. 

Watch out to make sure if using nut butter or specifically peanut butter, you alert anyone who is allergic to it. You want to fix the dish, not harm someone. 

4) Dairy 

Dairy is one of the safest choices to fix the spiciness in a dish.  Drinking milk after eating spicy food calms the receptors rather than spreading the heat when drinking water. 

This just proves that adding a dairy component to a dish makes a big difference in killing or reducing the spice level. Certain times when making tandoori chicken, I happen to serve some yogurt or sour cream on the side which helps cut the masala. 

5) Acid 

As you may have noticed, certain restaurants serve a few wedges of lemon or lime with the dish you ordered. Along with adding an extra layer of flavor, acid cuts through the spice level of the dish. During cooking, just before finishing a dish, a few squeezes of acid can help towards reducing the level of heat. 

In making a tomato sauce, certain times on adding too much spice, throwing in a few tomatoes with a dash of balsamic vinegar helps to cut the spice. 

Comment below on what all have you tried from the tricks above. Do you have something you can tell us how we can contribute towards cutting a spice level in a dish? Share your experiences.