I eye-balled the chili and cayenne powder in my chili and have made it painful to eat. What should I use to counteract this? I tried adding pasta sauce and cheese to a small serving, but it wasn't very effective.

According to the question "How can you make a sauce less spicy/hot?" the heat is coming from capsaicin:

Capsaicin, the heat-producing compound in most types of hot peppers, is the highest on the Scoville Scale; extremely piquant and can produce a "burning" sensation in very small quantities. It is also poorly soluble in water, but is far more soluble in fat, especially oils. Adding some olive oil or a good quantity of butter to your recipe is a good bet for reducing capsaicin/capsicum heat.

From some various discussions on the internet, I've also heard dark chocolate and sour cream can be effective.

What can I add in minimal quantities without affecting the taste drastically?


1 Answer 1


To some extent chilli (capsaicin) is like salt in that the best way to reduce the taste is dilution. However with capsaicin you can also make use of the fact that it dissolves in fats. But you can't neutralise it - up you'll always be increasing the size of the dish.

To dilute you could make another batch without the heat, and combine the two.

A good source of fats is dairy, so you can indeed stir in sour cream (this isn't a time for the low fat version) or cheese. Both of these are often served with chilli, and take some of the heat away even then, but you need to mix the in. I use cocoa powder in my chilli, others use dark chocolate, which is easier to add at the end. Again, this is a source of useful fats, but be sure to get one with a high cocoa content unless you like your savoury food sweet. With all of these it's a good idea to cook a little longer, so you can also add a bit more of some of the other ingredients - beans, tomato, the liquid in your sauce (perhaps thickened with a little cornflour), etc. which will dilute the heat. You may be left with a portion for another day.

  • 1
    Indeed, making a second batch and combining was the only solution that worked.
    – Seanny123
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 15:52

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