His bakarkhani served with goat curry made food critic Matt Preston reminisce about his trip to Old Dhaka and its authentic flavours.
He has infused beetroot into borhani and turned it into bright, fuchsia-coloured spheres.
Chocolate patishapta pitha with raspberry khirsha and smoked chocolate sauce? The same person has also created this.
Rashedul Hasan was the first Bangladeshi-Australian who competed in MasterChef Australia, television's biggest cooking competition, and reached the top 24.
In 2017, he was a contestant in season nine. Kishwar Chowdhury, another beloved contestant in the current season of the show, is also of Bangladeshi origin.
Rashedul Hasan lives in Australia with his family and works as a program director at Ericsson.
The Business Standard recently had a hearty conversation with Rasehdul about how his MasterChef Australia experience propelled him to move forward with his love for cooking and his future, which revolves around Bangladeshi recipes.
Rashedul was born in Dhaka but his schooling started in Chattogram where they were stationed due to his father's job.
He attended Ispahani Public School and College in Chattogram and then Government Laboratory School in Dhaka. He completed further studies in engineering and after working in the country for a while, left for Australia in 2011.
"I loved to cook for my family but after a long day at work, I rarely had the time to prepare full meals for dinner. So I began to make desserts because they did not require much time and my family adored the dishes I whipped up for them. I bought an ice cream machine and eventually became quite adept at making ice-cream," he shared with us.
When he was young, watching his mother and grandmother cook fascinated him; especially when they made pitha. "I was fascinated by the making process of bhapa pitha - how the steamed pieces always came out intact. I always wanted to make them," he said.
One of Rashed's fondest childhood memories is watching food being cooked in clay pots in traditional clay stoves with khori (firewood) in his ancestral village in Ishwardi.
He still remembers the sweet, smoky flavours of the dishes and tries to recreate it as much as possible in his dishes.
"I was good at making tea when I was young, so my mother would always ask me to make it when guests came over. At one point, I became annoyed and stopped doing it. In fact I wanted to become a cricketer, playing in the Dhaka Premier League as a Leg Spinner. But my father wanted me to concentrate on my career, so I started a corporate job and gave up cricket for a secured future," he recalled.
For a long period of his life he did not cook. But when Rashed got married, he started cooking again.
After he entered the corporate world, he had to travel for his work and this way, he got more exposed to cuisines all around the world.
When he took a trip to Thailand, he fell in love with the flavourful Thai dishes.
All these piqued his interest in cooking and after he moved to Australia with his family, he started looking into ingredients and began pairing them and creating different flavours.
He said, "My work was very routined with computers and software, and sometimes I wanted to explore my creative side. Cooking gave me that opportunity. I was a student of science so I liked to know about the science behind ingredients - why some were the way they were. I also began to replicate dishes."
As mentioned earlier, Rashed was a MasterChef Australia contestant in 2017. But the show's shooting had actually begun from May 2016.
He was always a MasterChef fan, even when he was in Bangladesh. When he saw the 16-page-long form applicants had to fill to register for the competition, he was slightly daunted.
But he was eventually contacted by the programme authority after they saw the small food blog he ran on Instagram. Rashed was selected from nearly 15,000 applicants.
His first mystery box challenge resulted in a honey and cinnamon ice-cream with lemon crumbs, a sponge cake and a torched meringue.
As the competition rolled on, Rashed kept on moving up the steps in the competition. He passed the invention tests and finally reached top 100 to top 50 and then to top 24.
Although ice-cream is one of his strongest suites, he has been known to blow away MasterChef judges with his savoury dishes as well.
On his MasterChef experience, he said, "The competition is not only about cooking, you have to live with other contestants in a house, protected from the media. We did not have any connection with the world during the time we were part of the competition. After I got out of top 24, I went back for a return challenge where I paired a goat curry with bakarkhani. Matt Preston was thoroughly impressed by it because when he visited Old Dhaka, he fell in love with the crisp bakarkhani."
Rashed said that watching other contestants taught him many things, such as how to incorporate and balance flavours, how to connect with food from your own culture, and how to think outside the box.
We love a good patishapta pitha, but what about chocolate patishapta pitha with raspberry khirsha and smoked chocolate sauce? Or instead of a traditional gajor er halua, what if it gets paired with a purple carrot halua with smoked lemon yoghurt spheres?
Rashedul's Instagram account is full of pictures of gorgeous, fusion dishes like these.
Everyone loves the vibrant twists you bring to deshi food items, how did that come about, we asked him.
"When I came to Australia, I saw that traditional food was as adored as fusion food. And then I thought, why not I make traditional Bangladeshi food look "cooler"? I wanted to apply different techniques and present our deshi dishes and its elements uniquely," he answered.
After Rashed got out of MasterChef Australia, he was asked to cook for a charity event in Melbourne. He took this opportunity to showcase Bangladeshi flavours and apply all his learning from the competition. He cooked for nearly 80 people.
"I made jhuri gosh which resembled pulled beef. I added bakorkhani to it as a crunchy element and made the sauce from the jhol. Everyone loved it, they had never tasted anything like this. This is something I want to continue doing, introduce our lovely regional and local dishes like kumra pata and shutkir bora to the world. I would love to compile them and put them into a book. We have so many food enthusiasts, but not many who want to properly document local dishes," he said.
A true Bangladeshi at heart, Rashedul Hasan loves to cook with mustard oil, chili and yoghurt. "Mustard oil smells like home and I love jhaal flavours!" he informed.
Rashedul concluded, "In future, I want to open up a restaurant - it can be anywhere in the world - and showcase Bangladeshi cooking. I am lucky in the sense that I live abroad and get to see other cultures but I want to contribute to Bangladeshi cooking. I wish to travel around Bangladesh and explore as many regional dishes as possible."