6 ways to cool down spicy food 15



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We’ve all been there: eating a seemingly harmless dish and bam… there’s the heat. It feels like your tongue is on fire and if you’re not a big fan of spicy food, it can feel like the meal is ruined. But a hot dish doesn’t have to stay like that. In fact, there are few easy ways to stop yourself breaking out in a sweat and skolling cups of water or milk.

Sometimes it can be your mistake or someone else’s but either way, here’s how to stop the fire in your mouth and on your plate.

1. Acid

Before you try anything else, try acidic products to cool down the dish. Add citrus first (lemon or lime is fine) otherwise add a dash of vinegar and taste.

2. Peanut butter

It sounds odd but another proven method is to add a spoonful of peanut butter to your meal and mix thoroughly.

3. Sugar

They say sugar and spice go together and it’s true. Add in a teaspoon at a time until the dish is less spicy. Be careful not to add too much as it can ruin a dish, even more so than a hot one.

4. Veges

Mask that spice with some shredded veges. Carrots and potatoes work well and soak up the hot spices.

5. Dairy

Some people swear by a glass of milk for a hot mouth and the same thing applies for a too-hot meal. Stir in a spoonful of yogurt, sour cream, milk or coconut milk and taste. Cheese can also help.

6. More liquid

If the above didn’t work and you have a sauce or soup on the heat, then your last resort is to add more liquid. Add a scoop of stock at a time to disperse the spices.

And if it’s in your mouth – water has been proven to be the most effective method of relieving that on-fire feeling.

Tell us, do you know of any other ways to calm down spices in a dish?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yes, Josie. Back in my days with Colombo Plan students, before I became accustomed to hot spices, my Asian friends always urged the alternating use of banana or cucumber. It works.

  2. A glass of beer does the same job. 4 or 5 glasses and you don’t really care how spicy or hot the food is.

  3. Try a few drops of bitters in your food then pour yourself a nice glass of lemon, lime and bitters.
    There has been some good testing of ingredients to cool your mouth and milk always proves to be the best.
    Best way of all is to eat chills every day and get used to it. I like chilli eggs in the morning.

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