For MasterChef’s Sashi Cheliah, showcasing the flavours of his Indian Singaporean upbringing has always been a passion.
So, it was a shock to all when Sashi was recently eliminated from MasterChef Fans & Faves for a failed fish curry with dosas, something the popular foodie says he could practically make in his sleep.
“Honestly, I have no idea what went wrong!” laughs Sashi. “I make dosas every day. I think perhaps it was the pan. Perhaps the base was too thick, so the mix wasn’t spreading right. When I make dosas at home I use a flat, thin pan.
“With the fish I didn’t monitor the temperature as there was too much going on – I know it wasn’t a good cook! Having said that it was so amazing to be back in the MasterChef kitchen. Pushing myself creatively was the highlight for me.”
Since leaving the show, Sashi has been busy spreading the word about his own meal kit brand Sashi’s Secret. “After I won MasterChef in 2018 everyone wanted to try my food so I created these meal kits including all the spices for traditional Singaporean and Malay dishes like beef rendang and Malaysian Chicken Curry for time poor people.
“The kits are currently available in Woolworths, but I’ll be appearing at the 2022 Naturally Good Expo in Sydney from June 6-7 hoping to introduce the range to other distributors. Usually, curry takes a long time to make from scratch but I wanted people to just add protein and vegetables so they could whip up a meal in less than half an hour.”
One of the dishes in the range is curry laksa – a traditional Malaysian curry soup with Chinese, Indian and Malay influences. Sashi has these tips for busy mums to make the perfect dish:
- If pressed for time, thinly slice the chicken pieces to reduce the cooking time or use pre-cooked prawns.
- Cut your vegies so they cook at the right speed. Thinly slice hard vegetables like carrots but keep softer vegies larger so they retain their texture and flavour.
- For a more traditional dish, just add a boiled egg and chopped tofu.
- To amp up the heat, add some sambal chilli sauce or fresh chopped chilli.
- To tone down the heat – particularly for kids – either use a little less paste or add more coconut cream.
Sashi’s Secret Curry Laksa meal kit
2 tbpns cooking oil
200g sliced chicken or fresh prawns
200 ml water
200g chopped vegetables
In a medium sized saucepan boil 1litre water and cook the noodles from the kit for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside. Using a medium saucepan heat the 2 tbspns of cooking oil, add curry paste from kit and cook for 1 min on a medium heat until fragrant. Add 200g of sliced chicken or prawn, stir to coat with fragrant curry paste and cook for 2 mins.
Add the sachet of coconut milk with 200ml of water. Raise the cooking heat to bring the curry to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Add mixed chopped vegies and cook for 2 mins.
Divide the noodles equally into 4 bowls and ladle the laksa over the top of each. Remove from heat, serve in bowls and garnish with fried shallots.