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How Cilantro Can Help Take The Edge Off Of Spicy Food

Cilantro leaves on wood board
Cilantro leaves on wood board - Amarita/Getty Images

If you don't have a high spice tolerance or simply went overboard with seasoning, eating too much pepper at one time may feel like the heat is enveloping you. At that moment, you may grasp for a glass of milk or mistakenly sip some water, making the feeling worse. But rather than going straight for a drink, take a bite of cilantro to ease the spice.

There are two types of people in this world: Those who recognize cilantro as the peppery, citrus-like herb it is and those whose taste buds translate it to taste like soap. No matter which camp you fall in, the herb is sure to help take the edge off of spice when you consume too much. If you're a frequent consumer of Mexican, Indian, Thai, or Vietnamese cuisines, it may appear as if those countries have some strong allegiance to the herb. However, it serves a purpose in their dishes.

Cilantro is regarded as a cooling spice, bringing relief to you when you eat spicy dishes. While cilantro doesn't decrease the heat of the pepper itself, it helps you to bear the powerful effects of it. Even if you're not a fan of the taste, keeping some cilantro on the side the next time you order a spicy meal is a must.

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Add Cilantro To Balance Out These Spicy Dishes

Cilantro on curried cauliflower
Cilantro on curried cauliflower - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Quite a few Indian dishes use cilantro's crisp taste to flavor them and chana masala is no different. Pulled together in the instant pot in less than 30 minutes, this curry uses cilantro to uplift all the delicious warming spices while helping to keep the heat at bay. Made with chickpeas and garam masala, a fragrant earthy spice, the cilantro is like an herbaceous cherry on top.

Another instant pot recipe, cilantro is the perfect addition to spicy beef tamales. Seasoned with chipotle peppers, the citrusy cilantro brings sweet relief to the smoky peppers and rich beef. Finely chop some cilantro and sprinkle it on top of the meat before turning on the instant pot to infuse the tamales with its fresh flavor.

If there's one thing pho is known for, it's all the incredible herbs that flavor the broth. Even if you can't get your hands on all of them, cilantro is definitely an important component of aromatic vegetarian pho. The herb tempers jalapeño's sharp spice while bolstering the pepper's vegetal taste. Complemented by basil and mint, two other cooling spices, this pho is both hearty and refreshing.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.