With a perfect 10/10 score and an Immunity Pin under his belt, MasterChef Australia contestant Sandeep Pandit has recently been at the top of his game on the reality cooking show.
Now the 37-year-old, originally from Kashmir, India, has responded to a string of viewers who’ve complained he’s made ‘too much curry’ on TV.
“I do not shy away from the fact that I’m the home cook,” Sandeep tells Yahoo Lifestyle Australia, explaining he’s proud to showcase traditional recipes that have been passed down generations.
“I know there’s a lot of talk on the internet about me making goat curry, but just look back at the amount of dishes I have put up. Indian food is not just curries.”
I know this is going to sound mean spirited but I want Sandeep to lose otherwise we are only encouraging his behaviour of only ever cooking one dish ... #masterchefau— Dave Sampson (@DaveSampson75) May 28, 2019
Question: how can you be a “Masterchef” if you just know one type of cuisine? Shouldn’t it be diverse? #masterchefau— Bella Yumiko (@bella_yumiko) May 28, 2019
The IT project manager says there’s a common misconception that Indian cuisine is simply curries and nothing more.
Some of the delectable dishes he’s served this season are certainly not curries.
“I think it’s my endeavour coming into this competition to showcase Indian food [and that it] is not just about curry,” says Sandeep.
A notable example is his finger-licking lobster masala that wowed judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston.
“Again a lot of people did call it curry but that’s not a curry,” the contestant explains.
So a lot of people complaining about Sandeep cooking mostly curries or other versions of Indian food, just FYI, indian dishes are super diverse in itself. Just because someone uses spices, doesn't mean all the dishes are same. Not defending him, but that's the truth #MasterChefAU— Manisha (@mypoint_24) May 28, 2019
For everyone complaining that @sandeep_cooks cooks too many curries, It’s an IMMUNITY PIN!!! You go with what you know best!!!!! It’s your only chance!!! @masterchefau #MasterChefAU pic.twitter.com/0T7pwfDy9u— Gem Rose 🎼🎶🎵🎶🎵 (@GemRoseP) May 28, 2019
Sandeep says he followed “a contemporary chef style of cooking” which involved “a poached shellfish, then taken out and chopped into pieces, topped in some butter and garlic”, before it was adapted to the Indian palate with ghee and spices.
As for the spice level in all of his dishes served on the show, the father-of-one cuts the MasterChef judges no slack.
“I make them exactly the way I like to eat it.”
MasterChef continues at 7:30pm on Channel Ten.
Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.