How To Know Your Indian Curry Spice Levels

Making or ordering a curry that’s too hot can ruin your dining experience, so it’s important to understand Indian curry spice levels and what kind of heat you can tolerate. Knowing the basics will help. So keep reading for all the information you need. 

Mild Curries 

If you visit a curry house in London but don’t like spicy dishes, you may be looking for a mild yet delicious alternative. Mild dishes tend to be rich in flavour but low in heat, making them ideal for those who are new to curry or those with a sensitivity to fiery spices. Examples of mild curries include Butter Chicken (Murg Makhani), Korma and Malai Kofta. Ingredients in mild curry options typically include cream, coconut milk, yoghurt, almonds and cashews to balance out the spice blends. In fact, these can be added to tone down hotter curries when necessary too.

Medium Curries 

For many, a curry wouldn’t be a curry without some level of tongue tingling heat from the spices. If you want to feel the heat, but not too much, a medium curry is ideal. Examples include Chicken Tikka Masala, Saag Paneer (although this can also be mild so check with the chef), Biryani, Bhuna and Rogan Josh. 

Medium curries usually include chilli powder and fresh chillies as well as spices like cumin, coriander and garam masala. Medium curries may also have some cream and yoghurt but they offer a more balanced spice level for an extra dash of fire.

Hot Curries 

If you refuse to eat a curry unless it’s super spicy and hot then you will be looking at options such as a Vindaloo, Madras or Jalfrezi. These are extremely tasty and tend to contain copious quantities of red chillies, green chillies, chilli powder, ginger and black pepper – all of which leave the mouth tingling. 

When ordering a takeaway or having a curry in London, look for indications of spice levels. There may be some sort of chart, or the descriptions of each dish will use words such as mild, medium and hot to describe the marinades and sauces. If in doubt, always check with the staff as they’ll be able to point you in the right direction according to your tastes. 

Top Tips:

If you love spice, you can ask the chef for recommendations. Or you can request extra fresh chillies on the side. If you don’t love spice so much, go for a mild or medium option with plenty of boiled rice and naan bread as this will help to balance out any heat there may be. You can also add mint sauce or ask for extra yoghurt. 

If you’re looking for the best curry places in London, don’t miss Little India. Our restaurant is nestled in the heart of South Kensington close to a wide range of popular London tourist attractions, and serves up mouth-watering, authentic Indian dishes.