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The title of MasterChef UK 2012 - the winner of the popular cooking reality show of the same name - has been awarded to Shelina Permalloo. It is reported that approximately 6 million people tuned in to watch the final episode of the season.

Permalloo, 29, hails from Southampton and was clearly overjoyed by the win.

"I am completely and utterly overwhelmed. I never thought it would be me that would win. The guys were so amazing and I just never thought it could happen to me. My mum is a brilliant cook. I learnt everything from her. I'm basically her sous chef. She taught me to cook by intuition: never by using scales, always by sight and taste. So I developed a strong palate from a young age. I only ate Mauritian food growing up as it gave our family that affinity of being close to the island. Mauritian food is very frugal, which is great in these economic climates but at the same time full of flavour, heady with aromatics, nutritional and damn tasty," Permalloo was quoted as saying in a Radio Times report.

Permalloo, whose life, she believes, has changed after going from a home cook to the winner of the television show, dedicated her win to her family. She is, incidentally, only the second woman to have won the title.

A report in the DailyEcho said Permalloo won the final with three dishes - an octopus starter, a mutton curry and a dessert of mango cannelloni filled with lime curd.

A Mauritian born in the UK, Permalloo hopes to open a Mauritian restaurant in the future.