How to reduce excess salt in food?

I was preparing dal today and my cell rang. While talking over the phone, I didn’t realize how much salt I added to it. When I tasted it (thankfully before serving) I got to know how salty it was.
My immediate thought was, OMG! Now what should I do?

I am sure this must have happened to you some time. So here are some tips of how you can reduce the salty taste in your food.

1. Cut raw potatoes and add them to the food like curries, vegetables, dals or any gravy.
2. For recipes like rice, noodles, spaghetti…add some sugar.
3. If the food to too salty then consider adding one of the main ingredients to it like, some more vegetable, or tomatoes, or boil dal and add it.


Our author Uma and viewer Prachi suggest –

For gravies, add a few balls of chapati dough (kneaded) to reduce the excess salt, but remember to scoop them out before serving.

Hope this helps.


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There is one more way to reduce salt in case you have put excess salt in any gravy dish. Make rolls of wheat flour (kneaded for making chappatis) put it in the gravy and boil for some time. It absorbs the excess salt. I have tried it and worked well. Later, you may take out the flour balls.


Thanks for the tip Uma. Will definitely try it (well I hope I don’t put excess salt in first case =) )


for gravies, u can add a few balls of chapati dough(kneaded) to reduce the excess salt, but remember to scoop them out before serving.

Hello I have made meat karela and its tooo salty…what can I do about it…?? I dont have anymore of the vegitable…anything else can be done?? please help…many thankx..

Hi Maria,

Is it stuffed karela you are talking about? If it is dry, cook few pieces of potato in another vessel under they are almost cooked (still firm). Then transfer these potatoes and your meat karela into a vessel. Stir lightly and let them cook together for few minutes. This should help. You can also try sprinkling little lemon juice or powdered sugar; though this would not reduce the salt content, it will only help in altering the taste. If it is a curry then you can follow the procedure given above.

Hope this helps.


Hi Meera,

I assume you have fried them. There is very little you can do to them after frying. But here are some suggestions,

1. Boil potatoes, peel, mash and add some flour or bread crumbs to them. Then coat your cutlets with this mixture and fry them again.

2. Stuff them into bread slices (wet the bread slices for 30 seconds and then press them between your palms to remove the water) to prepare something like bread roll.

3. Prepare wraps. Knead separate dough for wraps with no salt. Make rotis, spread some mayonnaise (do not use butter as it will contain some amount of salt in it) then add lots of salad like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and place your cutlets into these wraps.

I hope these help.


Hi minal,
A simillar accident happened with my cooking yesterday except that i was making palak paneer . Any suggestions what can be done to repair it? I m not sure if i can add potato or dough balls to palak. Please help .

Hi Anu,

If you have already cooked your paratha, I am afraid there isn’t anything you can do except for eating it with some chutney that doesn’t have any salt. Do not eat it with tomato ketchup since it is already loaded with salt and lots of sodium.
But if there is excess salt in the dough that you have kneaded, add some more flour/besan (chickpea flour) and some amount of masala that you have already added earlier to balance the taste of spices.

Do let me know if this worked.


I am making sekh kabab on coals and the salt is excess in keema,how can i reduce salt in the keemah to make kabab upto mark.


I prepared bharwa bhindi. But all the masala I have put are excess.

Whats the solution. I don’t have extra bhindi.

Can make completely new dish out of it.


Hello Shazia and Khwaja,

Add more meat (if possible) and other spices to balance the taste. Else try adding some besan (chickpea flour) or egg to the mixture.


You may try adding some seasoned rice to it. By seasoned I mean in ghee/oil roast some whole garam masala and uncooked rice, add proportionate water and cook without adding salt. Then add this rice to your pulav. Hope this helps.

Hi Kavita,
You can add more flour and water and knead it all together, that should help reduce the salt.

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