Warning, this article contains spoilers for MasterChef Australia Season 13.

A collage of Justin Narayan Depinder Chhibber and Sashi CheliahInstagram
Features Food Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - 16:43

(Warning, spoilers ahead) Indian and Fijian origin Justin Narayan impressed the MasterChef Australia judges enough to bag the title in Season 13 of the cooking competition. Justin gathered a huge fan following with his delicious recipes including Noodle Taco, Spiced Candy Potato Taco, Indian Rooster Curry, Crispy Rooster Pores and skin, and an Apple and Cucumber Pickle. Over the course of his stint on MasterChef Australia, Justin has created recipes which were influenced by his Indian roots.

However, he is not the only one. Over the past 13 seasons, MasterChef Australia has given us some fabulous Indian-origin cooks who have added fire and spice to the show. Here are seven Indian-origin cooks who have stood out in MasterChef Australia through the 13 seasons: 

Dalwinder Dhami

In Season 4, Dalwinder Dhami got her apron to contest in MasterChef Australia. She was reportedly the first Indian -origin cook to get selected and was popular for her blend of Singaporean cuisine and North Indian ‘tadkas’. Former judge George Columbaris after tasting her curry said that it was the best he had ever tasted. After her MasterChef stint, Dhami began selling her Indian preparations in Singapore’s local market. 

Neha Sen (Season 5) 

Neha Sen started her culinary journey with historical Indian recipes and old preparations from her mother’s kitchen. In the show, she wanted to prove that Indian cuisine was not just about butter chicken and korma, but much more. Her ice creams and chutneys made a splash on the show and many restaurants in Australia now offer her menu. 

Rishi Desai (Season 5) 

Rishi Desai, who joined the MasterChef Australia family in Season 5, became an instant hit, with seafood mixed with Indian spices being his masterstroke. Rishi, who is originally from Kolhapur in Maharashtra, even won the title ‘Muscle Man’ from then judge Matt Preston and quickly became the favourite of audiences and judges. 

Deepali Behar (Season 6) 

A Gujarati-born Australian, Deepali impressed the MasterChef Australia judges first with her potato curry. She then went on to create several hit recipes on the show, including chicken curry and pot stickers, gujiya and beef, during one of the challenges. Deepali has now started a range of pickles, preserves and chutneys sold under the brand Deepali’s Delights. 

Sashi Cheliah (Season 10) 

With his roots in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Sashi integrated a mix of Indian, Malay and Chinese cooking in his MasterChef Australia journey. He first began cooking by helping his mother out in her cafe in Singapore. Prior to that, Sashi worked as a prison officer at a women's prison. He joined MasterChef Australia Season 9 but took a break and made a fresh entry in Season 10, which he ended up winning. 

Sandeep Pandit (Season 11)

From Rogan Josh to Yakhni to Hakh, Sandeep offered many Indian meaty delish to the world. He recreated several Kashmiri culinary gems which impressed the judges. Sandeep has been cooking since the age of nine, helping his mother make tea or trying out old recipes. 

Depinder Chibber (Season 13)

Season 13’s Depinder was undoubtedly one of the season's strongest contenders, winning over the judges’ palates with her desi-touch and belting out one delicious dish after another. From her Tandoori Chicken with Flame Grilled Naan and Smoked Lassi, to delectable desserts like the French Choux Pastry, and Mille-Feuille with Chilli Chocolate, Orange, Raspberries, the pharmacist-home chef left the judges in awe of her talents throughout the season. 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.