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A Culinary escapade in Agra, with Masterchef finalist Dinesh Patel

Sweet-savoury flavours and a fusion of cuisines. Catch the best of a culinary escapade in Agra, in a Masterclass session by Dinesh Patel, a finalist of Masterchef season 5

Dinesh Patel

Dinesh Patel with General Manager of Radisson Blu Agra, Rajat Tulli

Travel and food culminates into an ideal combination yet again. The journey to the heritage city of Agra with its tales and magnificent monuments was furthered by the awaited Masterclass of chef Dinesh Patel at Radisson Blu. The journey from Delhi smoothed by the Expressway, and an enthusiastic company of like-minded people stuck through a day-long expedition.

As we reached the venue before the scheduled time of the session we spotted our celebrity chef interacting courteously. “I appreciate the work of a lot of chefs and they are doing quite well, but my identity is my own” he says in a casual conversation that struck. With a penchant to do something different, Dinesh Patel intends to form his own identity through a distinctive food style. Starting his journey as a mehendi artist, the former lawyer, believes that one must pursue his/her passions. He specialises in patisseries and desserts, and loves to fuse the Indian with the Western cuisine.

Agra Petha Savoury Salad and Shahi Tukra Summer Pudding

Agra Petha Savoury Salad and Shahi Tukra Summer Pudding

Staying true to the essence of the venue, the first dish he prepared was ‘Agra Petha Savoury Salad’. The slight bitterness of charcoal-grilled chicken, complimenting the sweetness of caramelised Petha, added a twist to the regular flavour of the salad. Yogurt, corriander and spices and a French mustard dressing added to fresh vegetables- juliennes of cucumber,onion, slices of lemon, et al. filled the room with a strong piquant fragrance. Sensitive taste buds were furthered by a brilliant garnish of roasted sesame seeds and a touch of lemon. Edible flowers were used to add a fresh colour to the dish.

Note- Chef Dinesh Patel suggested the use of tofu or paneer for a vegetarian platter.

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The second was a fusion of Shahi Tukda and mousse, called ‘Shahi Tukda summer pudding’ assembled in a glass. A mousse with layers of whipped cream, fried golden bread dipped in sugar syrup and strawberry compote (of strawberry syrup and pieces of strawberries with a hint of lemon) is perfect for house parties. A final touch of peaked piping garnished with silvered pistachios and almonds, and edible flowers makes it an elegant mousse to be relished.

Note- The layers can be served in the same order in a shot glass or a table spoon for a smaller, and a more personalised quantity.

Dinesh smoked the room up with his savoury blend of dishes at Radisson Blu, Agra. The session concluded in an hour, and all of us left with a better understanding, and certain unusual tricks to pep-up our food!

 Dinesh Patel

Extreme Left- Dinesh Patel,Extreme Right- Alka Ladhani


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