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How to fix too much chilli in a dish

Q: “Help! I’ve made a curry but I got a bit carried away with the chilli – it’s so hot now my family won’t eat it. Is there any way I can rescue it?”


A: I can empathise – I’ve done the same thing myself, and still do! But all is not lost!

What I usually do first is add sugar, which seems to ‘tame’ things. Add a teaspoon first, taste it, then add more if needed. If it’s a Thai curry, add a little fish sauce or soy sauce to balance out the flavour.

Or you may try adding more ingredients to your curry to spread out the heat. Remove half the mixture and add more veges and liquid to each half. Extra coconut milk helps keep the flavour, too.

The fat in dairy products partly absorbs and neutralises capsaicin (the chemical which makes chilli taste hot). So adding yoghurt or sour cream to your curry, or serving these with it, will also help.

Finally, I found this solution online: add a few pitted black olives. Leave them in the curry for half an hour. Then fish them out and discard. I’ve not tried this, but let me know if you do!

Date modified: 7 August 2020
First published: Sep 2009


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