Is your curry too spicy? You have a few options
It is all too easy to wind up with an excessively spicy curry. Maybe you added too much powdered chili because you believed your capsaicin tolerance to be greater than it is, or maybe you misread the recipe and added more than was required. In either case, this is not one of those situations where you have to dump the dish and start over. It is possible to tone the spice in your curry down. If you are wondering how to reduce spice in curry, look at our suggestions below.
The big question for many cooks is how to reduce spice in curry without affecting other flavors. Dairy is the most obvious answer. The heat-reducing benefit of adding dairy to your curry works on two fronts: elimination and dilution. Drinking milk is a popular way to counteract the effects of eating overly spicy food. It is effective because dairy products contain casein, which binds with capsaicin oils and helps wash them away. Casein is also why you can add dairy products to curry to cut through the heat.
The other benefit is that the addition of dairy can dilute the curry thus lessening the effect of the spice. Use dairy to dilute spice in a finished curry by serving it on the side. You can do this by providing a raita or some lassi. Raita is a yogurt-based condiment that is often served alongside spicy Indian dishes and lassi is a yogurt-based beverage.
Add an acid to your curry. Similar to dairy, acids can limit the effects of spice without interfering with other flavors. You can add acids in the form of vinegar, lime juice or lemon juice. Acidic ingredients dull spiciness by countering capsaicin’s alkalinity.
Starches and vegetables
You can add starches like potatoes to your curry; in fact, some curry recipes include potatoes. If the recipe does not have potato listed as an ingredient, just add a few pieces and then remove them before serving. An alternative to including starches in the dish is to serve them on the side. Serve your curry atop a bed of rice. In both cases, starches can help to soak up the spice and can diffuse the heat. Fibrous vegetables like eggplant can have a similar effect in that they serve as a sponge and you have the option of removing them before serving the dish.
Peanut butter and other nut butters are yet another effective way to cut through the spice. Nut butters will do this with minimal effects on other flavors in the dish. Your best options are peanut butter, tahini paste or almond butter.
A sweetener such as honey or sugar can sometimes help to soften the spice. Sweeteners can have a greater effect on flavor than the other solutions on this list; only use them in small amounts so that your curry does not wind up tasting cloyingly sweet. If possible, use your chosen sweetener in conjunction with an acid to keep it from dominating the dish.