Masterchef Inderpal Singh opens up about Singaporean cuisine

Masterchef Inderpal Singh opens up about Singaporean cuisine

Chef was recently in Kolkata as part of his India tour

Food has been with accountant-turned-Chef Inderpal Singh since he was five years old. The Masterchef Singapore Season 4 winner was recently touring India and stopped in Kolkata where we caught him for a chat about Singaporean cuisine and more.

Recalling his journey, he says, “My dad used to be the President of a Gurudwara, and my obsessions with food started when I was five. I chanced upon Masterchef Australia while I was with my sister in Australia when she was pregnant. I quit my job and started selling butter chicken and rotis which blew up during COVID. Then I took training and was on the team that earned Thevar its Michelin star. Post that I applied for Masterchef Singapore Season 4 got in and couldn’t believe that I won.”

Excerpts:

Q

What does Singaporean cuisine entail?

A

Singapore’s food is encapsulated in one of its dishes called Roja. In Malay, it means a little bit of everything. The original Malay cuisine is very good on its own, then you have the Chinese migration who brought Chinese and Hakka food, and there’s the South Indian immigration too. In fact there are some South Indian dishes that only exist in Singapore and not South India itself. The youngest of the ethnic groups are the Eurasians and they do the Peranakan food which is probably the most heritage food you can find in Singapore. Barring Chinese, the cuisine uses a lot of coconut, is spicy, and umami.

Q

How do you fuse Singaporean and Indian cuisine?

A

What I have tried to do is stay as authentic to Singaporean cuisine as possible. It’s not very easy simply because of produce. There are certain things that we can’t get here and vice versa. I have tried to modernise certain ingredients and plating. On my tasting menu, there’s the Kuih Pai Tee Lobster. Kuih Pai Tee is almost like a Pani Puri. Its usually done with eggs and prawns but we have elevated it to using lobster.

Q

Have you tried Kolkata specials?

A

Momos, the Bengali food blew my mind, especially the prawns and we ended with a nice misthi doi.

Q

Your roadmap for 2024

A

Curating a 10-course menu on my journey through India for private dining’s, advising on the menu for a restaurant opening, something cool with ice-creams and have an Australian tour.

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