Too much Hot Peppers or Chili? Here's how to tone it down.


Spicy Chili

I've prepared a hot and spicy meal, using my favorite hot peppers. The colours are stunning and the steamy aroma is making me drool. I can't help myself and guiltily have a wee taste...... and WHAM BANG it hits my taste buds hard and leaves me gulping for breath and reaching out for anything wet and cool. This hot Chili is JUST TOO HOT!

Here, I have painted a scene which will be quite familiar to most lovers of Chili and Spicy Food.

How do I save the day (and rescue my taste buds).

There are a couple of remedies that you may attempt, however they are not guaranteed to work effectively on all spicy Chili dishes. The final result will depend greatly on the kind of spicy food you have prepared.

The first question to ask yourself. Do I have time on my side?

If the answer is YES:

The Best thing to do is to prepare some more of the same dish (this time around without the hot peppers and spices). Yes, it will be bland (it's what you want). Halve the overly hot dish and add half the newly prepared "bland" dish. Add the bland mixture (in size-able batches) until the dish is toned down sufficiently to be edible without destroying your taste buds in the process.

If the answer is NO:

Capsaicin Oil (the WOW! that's HOT! chemical) found in hot peppers is alkaline in nature. Bearing this in mind I try to neutralize this alkalinity by using natural acids.

The freshly squeezed juice of half a Lemon or Lime, added to anything too hot or spicy will substantially reduce the heat in the dish. If I need to continue on my "toning down" adventure, a further teaspoon or two, of good quality wine vinegar and a couple of teaspoons of sugar can work wonders.

Depending on the type of dish, the addition of coconut milk/cream, dairy cream and natural yoghurt will further reduce heat intensity... the down side is the flavor and texture of your original dish might be altered.

As a last resort, I tone down the meal as much as I can using the above tips, and then serve it with a selection of "Cooling" side dishes such as :

Cooked Potatoes, Rice, Breads, Natural Yoghurt or Yoghurt mixed with grated (and drained) Cucumber or just a plain Cucumber Salad, all helps in making the meal a little bit more palatable.

Tip : Here are some helpful tips to douse the inferno in your mouth.

  • DO NOT drink water. Capsaicin oil will not dissolve in water. Water will merely spread the discomfort
  • DO take some large swigs of Creamy Milk, Swirl it around and hold it in your mouth, before spitting it out (discreetly, of course and preferably not directly at your host)
  • DO try a spoon full of ice cream.(Do not swallow)
  • DO try a spoon full of Natural Yoghurt. (Do not swallow)
  • Do eat a Slice of Fresh Bread or a Cooked Potato or some Cooked Rice. These will absorb the oil and reduce its effects (This you may swallow or discreetly dispose of)
  • Last but not least if all the above fails, (It's not pleasant and I feel sorry for you), just sit it out. It will pass


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