Indian food has found a hot spot in international cooking shows such as “MasterChef”. Andy Allen, judge of the 13th season of the Australian version, reveals what makes the cuisine popular.
In “MasterChef Australia” season 13, contestant Depinder Kaur earned praise from Allen, Jock Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong after she presented her dishes such as kadai paneer, cholle, tandoori chicken, naan, lassi and chicken biryani.
However, this is not the first time Indian dishes have been lauded on international cooking reality shows.
“I think Indian dishes have always been super prevalent on MasterChef but I think this year you’ve got two superstars like Depinder and (Bangladesh origin) Kishwar, who time after time are smashing challenges and they’re bringing complex Indian dishes and Indian curries that are just perfect,” Allen told IANS.
He credits the calibre of the person cooking the dish. “I think that’s why they’ve been so successful — not because they’re Indian dishes but the calibre of cooks who are cooking those dishes are just unbelievable. That’s why the dishes have been so successful and that’s why the contestants have been so successful,” he says.
Allen won the show “MasterChef Australia” season four in 2012. He describes his journey as “full of hard work with a little bit of luck along the way”.
“Look, whether you win the thing or not, nothing comes to you without really working hard and having a solid crack. I’ve just been really lucky to surround myself with good people, which has worked for me,” said the 33-year-old star chef.
How has the journey been so far with Zonfrillo and Leong by his side? “Look I couldn’t ask for two better people to share this experience with. We’ve been lucky to click since day one. In saying that, we always have a difference in opinion when it comes to food. What people like and dislike is a true personal preference and I guess that’s why we get on so well, because we respect each other’s opinions so much,” he said.
(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)