Reading Time: 3 minutesFlavours of India, bottled in Australia
Win or lose, MasterChef Australia is all about re-discovering your inner strengths and making your culinary dreams come true. And it was no different for Dr Deepali Behar, the only Indian contestant to make it to the top 24 of MasterChef Australia, 2014.
Post MasterChef, Deepali is busy bottling her food dreams. She has always wanted to share her food with the world as she believes that Indian cuisine still remains a largely unexplored territory. MasterChef re-ignited this passion and today, Deepali’s Delights is a reality.
Featuring a wide range of pickles, spice blends, jams, preserves and chutneys, Deepali’s Delights will not just tickle your taste buds but transport you back to your mom’s kitchen. Deepali says that every single product has been prepared and packaged with love and care, but it is the Marcha athanu (green chilli pickle) that remains close to her heart. “It packs a punch and only gets better with time,” says Deepali, with a twinkle in her eye.
With Gujarati heritage, born and bred in Wigan, UK, Deepali graduated from the prestigious University of Leeds as a dentist. She migrated to Western Australia in 2009 with her husband, Jordan and set up home in Secret Harbour. “We fell in love with the lifestyle and have bought a house, two dogs and a dental practice, Golden Bay Dental Clinic,” Deepali says.
In spite of having spent her entire life on foreign soil, Deepali is the quintessential Indian when it comes to food. While talking to Indian Link, she takes a minute to reminiscence fondly about her mum’s curries, the flavours and textures still lingering on her taste buds. And it is her mum’s batatu nu saak (dry potato curry) and spicy puri which eventually won her a spot in the competition.
Deepali’s food philosophy is simple yet powerful, ‘Cook with your heart, be generous and respectful to the food and enjoy the whole process’. It is this philosophy and encouragement from family and friends, that inspired her to take part in MasterChef and, after an arduous audition, reach the top 24. But self-doubt plagued her, especially when it came to international cuisines, resulting in her elimination.
“Believe in yourself and in your strengths,” is the biggest advice Deepali gives to future MasterChef aspirants. She says, “It is a once in a lifetime experience, so embrace it with the right spirit, don’t shy away from hard work and it can change your life forever”.
Deepali mentions that the idea to start her own food products range has always been lurking in the back of her mind, but it is MasterChef Australia that gave her the much needed boost and confidence to bring her dreams to fruition.
So what does the future hold? Deepali’s Delights range of products are currently available at all local markets in WA and will soon be selling at many specialty stores too. She is also planning to start a blog where readers can find her favourite recipes, an online store to sell her products, cooking classes and maybe even an Indian sweet store in WA!
Keep an eye out at www.deepalisdelights.com. You can also follow her on Facebook at Deepali’s Delights and on Instagram @deepalisdelights