When Kishwar Chowdhury served Smoked Rice Water, Aloo Bhorta, and Sardines as her final feast during the finale of the highly popular show MasterChef Australia, it got the Bengali population all over the world talking.
Kishwar, an Australian of Bangladeshi descent, has been one of the most popular contestants on season 13 of Master Chef Australia. The 38-year-old printing business owner has been serving delicious Bengali food to the judges and paying tribute to her Indian-Bangladeshi roots. For the finale, she served one of the most popular comfort food of Bengal- both in India and Bangladesh.
Kishwar cooked up the humble Panta Bhaat, which is basically leftover rice soaked in water to the judges and paired it with Aloo Bhorta – which is a mashed boiled potato with salt and coriander and smoked Sardines. A staple peasant dish in Bangladesh and India, the humble Panta Bhaat has been the comfort food for households for generations.
While presenting the dish to judges Melissa Leong, Andy Allen, and Jock Zonfrillo, Kishwar said, “This the type of food that you wouldn’t see in a restaurant anywhere. So, it feels scary but it also feels extremely rewarding to do this as my finale dish.”
The judges seemed to be impressed as Melissa Leong said, “This is a powerful food. To have the heart and soul of the dish be all about something as simple as rice and water and seasoning. You know, it is powerful with history and it is powerful with flavor.”