How to know your Indian cuisine spice limits

India is a country known for its vibrant festivals, colourful culture, yoga, the Taj Mahal and of course, food. Dribble worthy dishes like rogan josh, dosa, thali and bhapa aloo all descend from the bustling streets of India. If you’re travelling to this diverse country (or just have a special place in your heart for Indian cuisine), here's how to know just how much spice your can handle.

The last thing anyone wants is to be a pool of sweat or have a mouth of fire after one mouthful. It’s best to start off with something a little milder so that you know your limits and actually enjoy what you’re eating. Follow these dish by dish spice levels and you won’t go wrong!


Dishes with Mild Spice

No one wants to be guzzling gallons of milk after a few bites of an Indian delicacy dish, so we suggest sticking to these dishes if your spice limits are on the softer side. There’s nothing wrong with having a mild curry, and there are a whole load of spices like cumin and ginger that go beyond just being hot, so there’s no need to feel like you’re missing out on the good stuff! These milder dishes get our seal of approval…

  • Korma
  • Malai Tikka
  • Vegetable Biryani
  • Dal Makhani
  • Tikka Masala
  • Butter Chicken
  • Tandoori
  • Saag Paneer
  • Pasanda

Dishes with Medium Spice

Once you get to grips with the mild stuff, it’s time to dabble in something a little spicier. Luckily not every curry is as hot as a vindaloo, and this is where the medium spiced dishes come into play. These are the dishes that introduce that integral spice ingredient without getting too carried away. If you’re in limbo between the classic korma and the almighty vindaloo, we reckon these dishes will hit the sweet spot for you. Just be sure to have an emergency glass of water to hand if you’re new to some of these delicious dishes.

  • Dopiaza
  • Biryani
  • Balti
  • Buna
  • Rogan Josh
  • Pathia



Dishes with Hot Spice

So you think you’ve got what it takes? If all the mild and medium dishes are a walk in the park for you, it may well be time to turn up the heat (quite literally). There’s always one person who wants to get the hottest dish on the menu, whether it’s for bragging rights or because you think you’re up to the test. These are the dishes we dare you to try…

  • Vindaloo
  • Jalfrezi
  • Madras
  • Phal
  • Dhansak

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