6 Tips To Reduce The Hit Of Chilly In Curries
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If you find yourself in a situation where you've underestimated the heat of the chilies you added to your dish or accidentally poured too much into the gravy, don't worry. It doesn't mean your meal is ruined. Adding too much spice by mistake is a common error that almost every cook has made at some point.

The spiciness in peppers comes from the seeds and membranes, which contain a high concentration of capsaicin. If we don't remove them, the dish will become spicy. Additionally, whole spices like dried chilli peppers or peppercorns release their heat slowly during cooking. If we leave them in the curry without removing them, they will continue to add heat over time, making it even spicier.

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To maintain the perfect balance of flavour and heat in your curry, it's recommended to add chilli peppers towards the end of the cooking process. This will ensure that their spiciness doesn't overpower the dish, allowing you to enjoy their distinct flavour without any excessive heat.

On many occasions, one tends to add water to a gravy or a soup if the spice levels in it are too high. However, this may alter the balance of flavours and make the dish more watery in consistency. Instead, one can try these simple hacks.

Adjust The Base Ingredients:

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Increasing one key base ingredient can enhance the flavour of your curry and reduce its spiciness. For example, if the gravy is tomato-based, then incorporate more tomato sauce, tomato puree or diced tomatoes. Not only will it dilute the heat, but it will also add a delightful richness to your dish. Additionally, the natural sugars present in tomatoes can help balance out the spiciness.

Choose full-fat options for a more flavourful dish. Try using coconut milk or cream in your curry to tone down the spiciness and add a creamy, slightly sweet touch. 


Cream and Yoghurt: To mellow out the heat in your curry and enhance its flavour with a tangy kick, consider stirring in some yoghurt or sour cream. Remember to choose plain varieties without added sugars or flavours.

Milk: To balance out the spiciness of the curry and make it creamier, consider using either dairy or non-dairy milk in your recipe.

Natural Sugars:

Honey: If you find your curry too spicy, consider adding a small amount of sugar or honey to add a touch of sweetness. Start with a teaspoon and taste as you go, making sure not to overdo it.

Fruits: Adding diced apples, pears, or pineapple to the curry can bring a touch of natural sweetness to the dish, perfectly complementing the savoury flavours. Let the fruits simmer in the curry to soften them up and bring out their delicious flavours.

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Starchy food:

Potatoes: Adding diced potatoes to the curry not only absorbs excess heat but also adds a comforting texture. The starches released as the potatoes cook can help neutralise the spiciness.

Rice or Bread: Pairing the curry with plain rice or bread, like naan or roti, can create a neutral foundation that helps balance out the spiciness. The carbs in the rice or bread can help tone down the heat, giving your taste buds a break.

Nuts: To reduce the heat, try adding a nut paste made from cashews, peanuts, almonds, tahini, or coconut. Nut butter can also be added to soups. The fat in the paste helps to balance out the spiciness of the chili. This is a great option for vegans.

Acidic Ingredients:

Lemon or Lime Juice: Adding freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice to your curry can bring a delightful tanginess that perfectly complements the spiciness. Begin by squeezing a bit of citrus juice and then adjust it according to your preference. This will cut the spice and add some freshness too.

Vinegar:  Try incorporating a small amount of vinegar, like apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, to bring a touch of acidity and vibrancy to your curry. Be mindful not to use too much to ensure it doesn't overwhelm the other delicious flavours.

Cook Slow:

If your curry is too spicy, simply continue simmering it on low heat for an additional 15-20 minutes. This will help to lessen the intensity of the spiciness and bring out the other flavours.