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How to reduce heat of chili pepper?

Dairy products specially yogurt will tone down heat of peppers in the foods

The capsaicin in the chili pepper is responsible for the burning sensation. There is no physically damage to the tissue, the burning sensation is just a chemical reaction with the neurological system. The highest concentration (60%) of capsaicin is in the white pith to which the seeds are attached, and to a lesser degree (40%) in the seeds and other parts of the flesh.

Capsaicin is an alkaloid oil, it is soluble in acid, fat or alcohol. It is not water-soluble.

- Drinking cold water will immediately quell the burning pain due to physical coolness of the water, but water will distribute the capsaicin all throughout the mouth and throat, causing more pain once the water is swallowed.

- The physical temperature and actual amount of alcohol in alcoholic beverages effect the burning sensation. A cold beverage with high alcohol (such as scotch on-rocks) will reduce the burning sensation,  while heated brandy will increase the burning sensation. A cold beverage with low alcohol level will act same as water.

- Casein in the dairy products acts as a detergent and dissociates the capsaicin from nerve receptors, allowing it to wash away. Casein is precipitated in cultured dairy products (yogurt, buttermilk, sour-cream ) and works more efficiently than Casein in milk. Yogurt also has lactic acid and butter fat that act as solvents for Capsaicin

- Tomato, Lime, and Lemon juice are all acids. Drinking these juices will give relief.

- Eating a fatty food such as peanut butter, bread soaked in Ghee will give relief

- Sugar neutralizes the burning sensation efficiently. The heat in the chili peppers is quantified by the amount of sugar needed to neutralize heat. Its called Scoville Heat Unit. Granulated sugar and Honey will reduce heat.


The method to reduce heat depends on the circumstances.

- At a pre-cooking stage, remove and discard the white pith and seeds from the chili peppers.

- Soak the chili peppers in vinegar for a day. The heat from the peppers will be dispersed throughout the vinegar. Discard the vinegar. Repeat as needed till you have the desired amount of heat.

- To reduce heat in cooked foods, add yogurt buttermilk or cream depending on the type of curry. You may also add a dash of sugar.

- If you are ventilating because of the spicy hot food, try following: Sweetened Yogurt or Lassi, Milk desserts: Burfee Rasgulla, Chew a Tablespoon of sugar, Chew bread soaked in Ghee, Lemonade or Limeade, Scotch on-rock

- Rub oil on your hands before chopping hot chili peppers by hand. After chopping, rub lemon or lime juice on your hands before washing to help get rid of Capsaicin from the skin. Soap is alkaline, soap and water may not rinse away all the capsaicin. Chlorinated bleach also works


Black Peppers and Long Pepper (Pippali)

The Piperine in Black Pepper and Long Pepper (Pippali), and Capsaicin in red chili peppers are responsible for pungency. These chemicals activate the same heat and acidity sensing nerve cells cause the burning sensation. Casein in the dairy products to reduce heat for Chili peppers also work for Black peppers and Long Pepper (Pippali).


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