How to make up for a dish that is too spicy

What better solution to limit salt in your preparations while flavoring them than by adding spices? Among the most common, we find chili pepper for its burning flavor, curry for its perfect combination with rice, or cinnamon which goes wonderfully with apple and orange. In case of overdose, the rule is simple: to counter the spice, use an opposite flavor: sweetness, or even acidity. We present to you “all-purpose” ingredients which will cancel out any overdose of spices, without significantly modifying the initial taste and texture of the preparation.

Where does the spiciness of the spice come from?

To better understand the reason for this spicy or even burning sensation in the mouth that spices cause, it's all about capsaicin. This molecule, naturally present in chili peppers, paprika, curry, harissa and even peppers, brings these sensations of heat to the mouth.

Ingredients that make up for a dish that is too spicy without adding flavor

Dairy products soften the spice

To soften a preparation that is too spicy, and therefore too rich in capsaicin, add casein. Casein being a protein which naturally binds to the capsaicin molecules in spices, it neutralizes any feeling of overdose on the plate. Where are they found? In dairy products! To limit the milky taste in the dish, add “neutral” products, such as cream, coconut milk or even a little fresh cheese such as ricotta. Coconut milk will be ideal for softening a rice curry or chicken korma that is too strong, for example.

The potato addresses the overflow of spices

Just as it makes up for a dish that is too salty, the potato, thanks to the absorbent properties of its starch, dilutes the excess spice. To do this, simply immerse a peeled raw potato in the spicy preparation for a few minutes, and then remove it.

Ingredients to make up for a dish that is too spicy and add a little something extra

The sweet balances the spiciness

By adding a little sugar, and therefore sweetness, like with honey or even pieces of mango or citrus fruits, you will counteract the spicy sensation in the mouth. On an overly spicy roast chicken or sautéed sweet potato, you transform your dishes into sweet/salty delights.

Add acidity

A little lemon juice, grapefruit juice or vinegar depending on preference can greatly balance the spicy taste. When fresh, these juices reduce sensations of heat and their acidity takes over the spice. If you like tangy notes, don't wait any longer, go for it!

Using brewer's yeast

If you don't mind bringing an additional texture and a malty taste (close to parmesan) to your overly spicy fish or ratatouille, use brewer's yeast. Considered the “food straw” with multiple virtues in the United States, it will absorb any excess salt or spices.

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