Team Lebanon and Team India go head to head

On last night’s (Sept 6) episode of Plate of Origin, two countries with stellar culinary reputations; Team Lebanon and Team India went head-to-head in the arena with traditional cooking methods handed down over generations securing the win for Team Lebanon’s mother and daughter Jamal and Rachida who earned 55 out of 60 – the highest score in the competition so far.

Husband and wife Ash and Simran from Team India came into the cook with high confidence, but the stress of an ambitious menu and limited time almost got the better of them in the main course. While their dish was well received and the judges complimented their butter chicken, they agreed the flavour of their sauce needed to develop more.

It was also a stressful main cook for Team Lebanon laden with tears; the weight of doing their culture proud and fears of undercooked fish almost bringing them undone. However, the fish was cooked perfectly, and a star was born with Jamal’s tahini sauce (made without measuring anything) a knockout for all the judges. Rachida was overwhelmed: “I honestly did not expect that feedback considering all the things that went wrong in that kitchen.”

Team Lebanon’s dessert was also full of emotion as Rachida oversaw the pastry that kept breaking, but when Matt visited their kitchen to ask if she would consider using store bought filo, Rachida would not consider it, impressing the judges with her resolve to stick with authentic methods.  Team India were confident their Halwa dessert would get them back on top, but the flavourless pistachio ice cream melted their chances.

With Team India heading into the elimination round, Gary told Ash and Simran they did India proud. Ash declared; “Indian people are resilient; we get knocked down and we get up again. We fight, we are going to keep fighting. Go India!”


Jamal, 48 and Rachida, 30


TEAM Inda  45/60

Ash, 40 and Simran, 39



Samke Harra (Barramundi with Tahini Sauce)


Murg Makhani (Butter Chicken)

Manu: “The fish was cooked to perfection.  Generous in quantity and generous on flavour and taste.”

Gary: “That tahini sauce is dead-set the best tahini sauce I have ever eaten in my life.”

Manu: “The sauce was heading in the right direction, it did need more time to cook, but I think it was a really, really delicious meal.”

Gary: “I really enjoyed that char and marinade.

I did find the sauce a little thin though.”



Znood El Sit

(Filo Pastry with Lebanese Cream)


Halwa With Pistachio Ice Cream

Matt: “The crispy golden edge of that pastry – inspired.”

Gary: “That soft ashta on the top was absolutely beautiful.”

Matt: “I just didn’t feel you cooked the Halwa long enough to bring out the sweetness of the carrot.”

Gary: “I loved your Halwa. But for me where was the flavour in that pistachio ice cream?”