BEWARE: SPOILER ALERT
Refilwe became the third person to leave MasterChef South Africa Season 3 this week when she was beaten in a prawn curry challenge by the ambitious assistant train driver from Durban, Roxi.
The drama started when the losing Blue Team from last week’s team challenge gathered on the Umhlanga Rocks boardwalk, where they were greeted by the amazing sight of judge Benny Masekwameng making his entrance in a traditional rickshaw!
Combining Indian cooking with local ingenuity
Reuben Riffel explained that it was fitting that they should taste spices in this challenge, since the KZN coast has historically been the world’s link to the exotic tastes, flavours and colours of India and the East. “And what do you get when you combine the traditions of Indian cooking with local ingenuity?” he teased ...
The one, the only, Bunny Chow, of course!
One by one the contestants went up to the table to taste the bean curry chow and identify one of the spices, herbs and seasonings that went into the dish, until Refilwe and Roxi were the first two to make the wrong guesses.
The elimination challenge
Roxi and Refilwe faced off in their Elimination Challenge at the glamorous 5-star Beverly Hills Hotel, where chef Pete Goffe-Wood first got his culinary start. Pete introduced the dish that he said would challenge the contestants and hopefully keep their MasterChef dreams alive: Chicken Prawn Curry with roti, raita and some basmati rice
Then Pete revealed the competition’s customary twist: this recipe is a closely guarded secret of the Beverly Hills Hotel kitchen, he pointed out, so the contestants would only be getting the list of ingredients for the recipe, but not the Method. “That, you’re going to have to glean from tasting the dish,” he said.
The secret to a good curry
Roxi presented her finished dish to the judges first and Pete commented that the prawns were a little overcooked, but there was “a lovely depth of flavour to her curry”, he said. “You can taste Roxi’s fried all of those aromatics off to begin with in the ghee, to release all that oil, and then straight away the onions, the garlic and the ginger, and she’s built that foundation,” he remarked to his fellow judges. “And I think it’s the secret to all good curry-making, is to get that foundation right – there’s nothing you can add later to repair that ...” But Reuben pointed out that Roxi did mess up her rice.
Tasting Refilwe’s dish, Pete noted that unlike Roxi, Refilwe fried her onions first and then added her dry spices afterwards, “so they didn’t fry off really nicely to release all that oil, and she didn’t add her garlic and the ginger in until much later. And as a result you can taste that – that spice doesn’t live through the curry,” he commented. Reuben also complained that the prawns were a bit overcooked and Benny was disappointed that the rotis were hard and stiff and couldn’t be rolled up.
And so Refilwe’s MasterChef dream came to an end. We really liked her and will miss her on the show!
Do you like Bunny Chow? Have a look at some of our top curry dishes here and a great recipe for Bunny Chow.
Not familiar with Bunny Chow? Read all about here in Bunny Chow 101.
MasterChef South Africa is broadcast on M-Net every Thursday evening at 7.30pm.