Saliha Mehmood-Ahmed is a British-born Pakistani hailing from Kashmir who is as gifted as they come. While Saliha is a doctor by profession, she knows there are other ways to “save lives”, and that is by serving food that looks like heaven, tastes like heaven. Heck, maybe it is heaven. Who knows?
She has also OFFICIALLY won Masterchef UK. ?????????????
The Junior doctor who specializes in gastroenterology, beat 64 contestants on Masterchef UK to reach the final round where she competed with two other highly competent chefs.
And she was overjoyed (as were we)
The judges told her that the food she served was simply “art on plate”.
Which is fitting ’cause the East meets West inspiration is so, so, SO beautiful to look at?. The MasterChef final challenge is the hardest for the contestants. You get three hours to prepare a three-course meal, with an audience of all the eliminated contestants, the judges’ keen eyes and the added pressure of being on national television AND Masterchef. It’s safe to say THIS IS NOT AN EASY FEAT.
Don’t you wish your dinner was this sexy?
We’re just going to deconstruct all that she put forward with a hoot and clap.
As a starter, Saliha served her own take on the ever so popular shami kebab in every Pakistani household.
Not only did she “represent” our lip smacking cuisine on a show as global as Masterchef but made her own. Using venison (deer meat), she served it with cashew and coriander green chutney, channa daal and a side of kachumbar salad. She says she drew inspiration from all her fond memories dated back to her grandmother’s house in Pakistan.
For the mains, she upped the ante serving a Kashmiri style Duck breast.
This came with crispy duck skin, freekeh wheatgrain, spiced with dried barberries, walnuts and coriander, a cherry chutney and a duck and cherry sauce.
And to the joy of everybody with an aching sweet tooth, the dessert came in the form of absolutely divine Panna Cotta.
Not just ~any~ panna cotta, Saffron rosewater and cardamom panna cotta! This was served with a side of deconstructed baklava, including candied pistachios, pistachio honeycomb, filo pastry shards and kumquats.Pssssst those ingredients are fancy (I had to google most of them) but so is the Masterchef stage.
“I’m from a big Pakistani family and we use food as a way of bringing everyone together,” Saliha is quoted to have said.
“I had very passionate grandmothers who cooked traditional Pakistani food and my mum is also an excellent cook. We love to feed people – it runs in our genes.”
And that, it truly does.
Congratulations, Saliha. KEEP REPPING.
Cover Image via: metro.co.uk