MasterChef Pakistan Week 09 – Immunity Challenge!

Ohkay, so as much as I was looking forward to this episode I feel that the layout of every single episode is becoming very monotonous with the factor of excitement subsiding especially. It’s getting pretty obvious that the beginning 10 minutes of the episode will be dedicated to the judges, next 30 will be allotted to the haphazard cooking followed by the judges’ patrol asking the MasterChef Pakistan’s signature question ‘kya bana rahay/rahi hain’ & the remaining minutes will showcase the tastings & the final result. I think if they’d focus more on showing the techniques, they’d be able to make the episodes a lot more engaging. Like in this episode, everyone put up some great dishes which involved the hardcore desi techniques that have been the essence of our local cuisine since ages but sadly, the execution team couldn’t do justice to anything in particular. As much as the task was interesting, I feel the episode lacked the wow factor.

The task that was assigned to the contestants was to prepare food that represented Pakistan’s provinces. Everyone got the cuisine randomly & with the immunity pin up for grabs for the first time in the competition, everyone worked really hard. Zain had won himself an advantage in the last round so he had to use it this time by picking any cuisine that he liked & exchange it with someone he thought of as a threat. Zain got Balochistan & he replaced it with Punjab & exchanged it with Maryam. The dishes were great & I feel that all the contestants performed brilliantly by showing some amazing techniques. Madiha, Khurram & Zain got Punjab. Maryam & Ammarah got Balochistan. Amna & Gulnaz had to represent Khyber Pukhtunkhwa through their cooking & Rayyan, Iqra, Saad got Sindh.

Khurram served ‘Palak Gosht w/ Naan & Lassi’. Chef Mehboob liked his dish a lot & felt that the meat had a very good flavour. He felt that Lassi had a ratio of milk more but other than that his main dish was perfect. Chef Khurram liked the presentation along with the flavours but also wanted him to add more colors while plating the dish. Chef Zakir felt that the meat was tender, succulent & flavoursome so for that he appreciated Khurram a lot.

Rayyan made ‘Katakat & Daal’. Chef Mehboob felt that the whole dish was sour & the daal had a lot of soya sauce in it. Chef Khurram didn’t quite get the taste of daal. Chef Zakir didn’t like the roti that Rayyan cooked either.

Gulnaz presented ‘Ghata Roojee, Chapli Kabab & Rumali Roti’. Chef Zakir liked the kababs a lot. Chef Mehboob thoroughly enjoyed her whole dish specifically for the balanced flavours. Chef Khurram enjoyed both the components of her dish too.

Amna came up with ‘Channa Mewa, Chapli Kabab & Qehwa’. Chef Mehboob liked the taste of qehwa & he also enjoyed the flavours of channa mewa but he did feel that cabab didn’t have a balanced flavor. Chef Khurram commented that he could feel the essence of Pukhtun flavours in Amna’s dish. Chef Zakir liked the main dish but felt that raita had no salt in it (!?!?!?!).

Maryam served ‘Namkeen Gosht, Channa Daal, Bhindi w/ Roti. Chef Mehboob liked the dish a lot but he felt that the daal was over cooked but other than that her main dish which was namkeen gosht was cooked to perfection. Chef Zakir praised her for improving herself over the weeks & he liked namkeen gosht but felt that daal has no flavour to it. Chef Khurram commented that his mother used to make similar bhindi & liked her dish over all.

Iqra presented ‘Sindhi Biryani & Thadli’. Chef Mehboob found that the chicken was raw so he didn’t taste it but felt that the rice had a great flavour. Chef Khurram told her off for not taking care of the protein that too at this stage of the competition. Chef Zakir felt that she put in a lot of effort on her side drink but if she had paid more attention to her biryani then she could’ve come up with a dish of the day.

Zain presented ‘Murgh Channa, Daal w/ Roti. Chef Mehboob felt that he made a mistake by switching the province as he didn’t perform well because the daal had no flavour & rice had no salt in them. Chef Khurram liked the presentation but he felt that he was eating karahi masala. Chef Zakir felt that he came up with channa chat because murgh channa is supposedly made with the chicken stock so for this his main dish was weak.

Ammarah came up with ‘Balochi Gosht & Roti’. Chef Mehboob felt that the meat didn’t have a right balochi flavour because of the usage of ginger in particular; he was kind of disappointed & commented that he didn’t find what he was looking for. Chef Khurram felt that it was more like a whole different dish & wasn’t what she claimed she presented.

Madiha made ‘Saagh, Makai Roti & Lassi’. Chef Mehboob found the roti was too dense & dry plus saagh was more on a sweeter side. Chef Khurram liked the lassi & the technique of it, he also liked the texture of saagh but the flavour was too sweet for his taste too. Chef Zakir wasn’t satisfied with the roti specifically as well.

Saad came up with ‘Sindhi Biryani & Suji Ka Halwa’. Chef Mehboob didn’t find the biryani spicy enough but liked the halwa. Chef Khurram liked the plating but felt that the chicken was undercooked & the rice overcooked. Chef Zakir felt that he tried to do the things right but the result wasn’t upto his expectations.

The judges for the first time selected top 4 dishes instead of top 3 as they were impressed by 4 dishes that they tasted. Judges appreciated the efforts of the contestants a lot & felt that everyone tried to instil the essence of the local food to the best of their ability. Maryam, Gulnaz, Amna & Khurram were in the top 4 & surprise surprise, Gulnaz won the immunity pin which she can use anytime she wants to back out of any specific challenge.

I feel that the contestants tried to use a lot of different techniques but none of them were covered properly. I was more interested to see how Ammarah sealed the wok & how Madiha churned the lassi but seems like the main focus was on spoon stirring & veggie chopping throughout the episode. Even though the contestants have started to speak to the cameramen while they are cooking but none of them actually talk about the dish. All I hear them speak is about how hopeful or confident they are about their dishes. I feel that the contestants should speak more about the food & the techniques rather than being vocal about the results beforehand. Khurram, Ammarah tried to talk us through their dishes but the rest didn’t.

In my opinion, I feel that Khurram should’ve won the immunity pin but as Gulnaz is no doubt performing well I feel the judges have a soft corner for her therefore she was chosen. It’s good to see that the contestants are now getting along well with each other where they were being cordial & are being supportive of each other as well. Gulnaz got a great response & everyone was happy for her. Good to see her emerging as a strong contender. I don’t know why, I may be wrong but I felt that the way Chef Zakir changed the name of Gulnaz’s dish & made it sound similar to Rayyan’s dish, he was kind of personally attacking Rayyan for not being able to perform well. I know I may be wrong because it’s my assumption but the way Rayyan is being treated, it won’t be a surprise. Anyways, let’s see who goes this week so yes, please remember ‘no spoiler alerts here’. Share your say on this episode.

Keep Supporting,
Zahra Mirza.

ps: I wish Ramadan Kareem to all my dear readers. I hope everyone gets to make the most of this blessed month & may Allah bless every single believer, Ameen. :)

Zahra Mirza

Zahra Mirza got associated with in 2012. After moving to Australia, Pakistani content was a way of staying connected to the roots, language & Pakistani culture because it felt home. Eight years ago, review writing began as a hobby but has now turned into a passion.

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