MasterChef Australia 13’s Depinder Chhibber is not only one of the most promising contestants from the show, she has also become an internet sensation with her recipes. Depinder specialises in South Asian cuisines and has managed to stun not only judges Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo, but thousands of Indian viewers from all around the world.
Let us take a look at Depinder’s top 3 dishes as seen in MasterChef Australia.
Tandoori Chicken with Flame Grilled Naan and Smoked Lassi
Depinder’s Tandoori Chicken and smoked lassi recipe was appreciated by the judges. Celebrity chef Scott Pickett, who was a special guest in the episode learnt her smoked Lassi recipe and said that he will include it in his menu.
Take a look at the recipe below:
1. For the Tandoori Chicken, place chicken pieces into a bowl.
2. Place green chillies, ginger and garlic into a mini food processor and process to a paste. Add 2 tablespoons to the chicken along with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and salt. Mix well to combine then set aside.
3. Toast the whole spices over low heat until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder and process to a powder.
4. Place mustard oil and chilli powder into a bowl and whisk together until red in colour. Add the yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of the ginger, garlic and chilli paste and 2 tablespoon of the dry spice blend, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and salt and mix well to combine. Mix the chicken through then set aside in the fridge until ready to cook.
5. Heat a piece of coal over an open flame until glowing red.
6. For the Naan, place the dry ingredients into a bowl, add yoghurt and milk and mix to a smooth dough. Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
7. Heat a cast iron frypan over high heat.
8. Divide dough into 6-8 balls and using a rolling pin, roll then into rounds, using ghee to avoid the dough sticking to the bench.
9.Brush some water on one side of the naan and cook this side down in the hot pan. Once the naan starts to cook, turn and cook on a wire rack over an open fire or flame. Remove from the heat and brush with melted ghee. Set aside.
10. For the Mint and Coriander Chutney, blend all the ingredients together until the chutney is smooth. Season with salt and set aside in the fridge in a small serving bowl.
11. For the Smoked Lassi, spoon yoghurt into a medium saucepan. Carefully transfer the hot coat into a small heatproof vessel into the centre of the yoghurt. Spoon the ghee onto the hot coal then immediately cover with a tightfitting lid. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Uncover and transfer the smoked yoghurt to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
12. For the Charred Cabbage and Chillies, grill the cabbage and chillies on both sides over a low flame. Slice the cabbage thinly, season with salt and lemon. Set aside.
13. When ready to cook, press the chicken pieces onto a skewer and cook on on cast iron plate over low to medium heat for about 15 minutes. 14. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest 5 minutes then toss through ghee.
15. To serve, place the chicken on the naans with charred cabbage and chillies, chutney and a glasses of smoked lassi on the side. Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon wedges.
Tiffin Box with Chickpea Curry, Kadhai Paneer, Cauliflower Okra Chips, Grandma’s Mustard Pickle
For her vegetarian audience, she made this tiffin-box with a delicious assortment of curry, vegies and Kadhai Paneer. Her Tiffin Box was a massive hit and the judges expressed a desire to visit her home for a meal.
Take a look at the recipe below:
1. For the Chickpea Curry, place ghee into a pan over low heat. Add asafoetida, black cardamom, bay leaves, 1 tsp cumin seeds and allow to sizzle. Once fragrant, add onion and cook slowly, until lightly golden.
2. Place chillies, ginger and garlic into a small food processor and blend to a coarse paste. Add 2 tablespoon of the paste to the pan with the onions and cook until brown in colour. Reserve remaining paste for later use.
3. Place remaining cumin, coriander, cinnamon, star anise, green cardamom, cloves and black peppercorns into a small frypan over low heat. Toast until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder and process until fine. Add 3 tablespoons to the onion mixture along with turmeric and cook until fragrant. Reserve remaining spice mix for later use.
4. Add tomato paste and 2 cups water to cook through. Add the chickpeas.
5. Cook the curry and add salt, sugar, lemon juice and anardana powder. Cook until the chickpeas are just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
6. For the Kadhai Paneer, place the ghee, sliced and diced onion, reserved chilli paste, reserved spice mix and tomato paste into a frypan over medium heat. Cook until lightly golden, about 4-5 minutes.
7. Add turmeric, chilli powder, tomatoes, canned tomatoes and salt and cook through.
8. Add juice of ½ lemon and the sugar and stir through. Add the capsicum and onion cubes and cook until just softened. Add water and paneer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
9. For the Gobi Paratha, place flour, 1 tablespoon ghee and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and continuously add water until a dough comes together. Knead the dough by hand for 3-4 minutes until soft and smooth. Coat with ghee and a wet paper towel and set aside.
10. Mix together cauliflower, chilli paste, chilli powder, lemon juice, spice mix and salt and set aside.
11. For the paratha, divide the dough into 4 balls and using a rolling pin, roll into a flat circle. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cauliflower mixture over the surface. Roll up into a log then curl into a coil. Roll out until thin and flat.
12. Cook in a hot frying pan and once it starts to brown, add ghee and fry it until its browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan and cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm. Repeat to make another 3 paratha.
13. For the Stir Fried Rice, rinse rice until the water runs clear. Boil water, add salt and 1 tablespoon ghee and cook rice until just tender, about 15 minutes.
14. Strain the cooked rice and toss through another tablespoon of ghee. Set aside.
15. In a pan, add 1 tablespoon ghee and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds pop, add curry leaves and rice. Add turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt, mix well and remove from the heat.
16. For the Okra Chips, heat the oil in a saucepan or deep fryer to 160°C.
17. Slice the okra into long strips and set aside.
18. Place the remaining ingredients into a medium bowl and about 220ml to make a batter with a thick pourable consistency.
19. Once the oil is hot, toss the okra in the chickpea batter and coat thoroughly. Drop them into the oil and fry until golden brown and crisp. Set aside on paper towel.
20. For the Mustard Pickles, place carrots and cauliflower into a glass bowl, cover with cling film and microwave for 3 minutes.
21. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl then add the drained carrots and cauliflower. Set aside to pickle then drain well to serve.
22. To serve, slice the paratha into quarters and place them in the bento box next to the okra chips.
23. Arrange remaining dishes in the bento box. Garnish the kadhai paneer with cashews and coriander leaves. Garnish the chickpea curry with coriander.
Prawn Moilee with Coriander Rice and Peanut Salsa
Depinder once again left an incredible impression on the judges with her Prawn Moilee, which consisted of succulent prawns along with a flavorful coriander infused rice, and peanut salsa that the judges couldn’t stop tasting. She received rave reviews for the dish cementing her position as one of the best cooks of the season.
Take a look at the recipe below:
1. For the Prawn Moilee, place prawns into a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons turmeric powder and salt and mix until evenly coated.
2. Place ginger, garlic and green chillies into a food processor and finely chop. Set aside.
3. Place a frypan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons coconut oil and once hot, add 2 sprigs curry leaves, 1 tsp mustard seeds and 1/4 tsp asafoetida and allow to sizzle.
4. Reduce heat to low. Add 3 tablespoons of the ginger paste to the pan and mix well.
5. Add sliced onion and cook until lightly golden. Add coriander, cumin and remaining 2 teaspoons turmeric and cook, stirring constantly until toasted and fragrant.
6. Add coconut milk, lime juice and balance with sugar and salt, to taste. Add ¼ - ½ cup water if sauce appears to be too thick.
7. Add prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the curry to a serving bowl to avoid overcooking the prawns.
8. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
9. Just before serving, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a small saucepan.
10. Add remaining 2 sprigs curry leaves, dried chillies, 1 tsp mustard seeds and 1/4 tsp asafoetida. Once seeds start to pop and leaves start to sizzle, remove from the heat and pour over the prawn curry.
11. For the Coriander Rice, wash the rice in a large sieve until the water runs clear.
12. Heat 3 cups of water in a saucepan, transfer the strained rice and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Strain then rinse rice under cold water.
13. Heat coconut oil in a medium, deep frypan over medium heat. Add curry leaves, dried red chillies, mustard seeds and asafoetida and allow to spatter.
14. Add onions, ginger, garlic and chilli paste and sauté until lightly golden.
15. Meanwhile, place coriander leaves and 1 tbsp water into a small food processor and blend until smooth. Add to the pan, followed by the cooked rice and stir gently for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt then remove from the heat and set aside.
16.For the Peanut Salsa, toast peanuts in a small frying pan until browned. Transfer to a bowl Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
17. To serve, serve Prawn Moilee with Rice and Peanut Salsa on the side. Garnish with coriander leaves.
MasterChef Australia 13 streams on Disney+ Hotstar Premium.