Updated: February 26, 2021 1:15:31 pm
By Muskan Arora
In the lockdown, we were forced to stay at home — with or without families. It was also a time when we stepped into the kitchen to cook and look after ourselves. Multiple food trends came to the fore: from Dalgona coffee to banana bread, and more. And before we realised, social media became a platform for budding home-bakers, one-minute recipes and many new food bloggers.
Indianexpress.com got in touch with some of these highly-skilled food bloggers from around the country to understand if 2021 will turn out to be different in terms of food trends and food blogging. The bloggers talked about their journey before and after the pandemic, while also predicting some trends they look forward to this year.
“I began food blogging way back in 2007, upon discovering a few really interesting food blogs from the US,” Deeba Rajpal, who runs a food page ‘Passionate About Baking’ on Instagram, said. “Back then, it was just another way to document my recipes and baking journey. One thing led to another — I was inspired to take better pictures and the blog soon became an obsession! Now, the industry is different. Then, we were a handful of bloggers who were a close-knit community; we met often and interacted a lot. Now there are 1,000 new food blogs every day and it’s a crowded space,” she told this outlet.
But Rajpal discovered there were “loads of opportunities to create and share content”. “Comfort food took on a new meaning in 2020!” With over 1,00,000 followers on Instagram, she has always been “inspired by seasons” and says will “go with the flow”. She also mentioned that she is “eager to see quick and easy recipes — breakfast cereal, coffee in food, pies, breads — take over 2021”.
Year of recovery, rejuvenation
Devashree Sanghvi, an award-winning 26-year-old blogger from Mumbai, meanwhile, shared what kept her occupied in 2020. “I believe 2020 has been a tough year for everyone. In the lockdown, I did a lot of research on ‘culinary tourism’, posted many easy recipes that people loved, hosted and spoke with students on webinars, etc. We also worked with some amazing home-grown and FMCG brands to create engaging content around them.” She added that she has “learnt to adapt to new situations”.
On how she thinks 2021 would be different, she said: “We’re blessed that India has opened up so much and things are almost back to normal. With safety precautions in mind, I’ve started exploring more of our Indian states and their amazing cuisines, understanding and writing about them and also re-creating some recipes for the blog. I always believe in creating content that’s unique and useful, so I’ll continue my culinary adventures in our beautiful country and expand my creativity. 2021 is truly the year of recovery and rejuvenation.”
Besides blogging, Sanghvi also covers travel and lifestyle. “I’ve always been passionate about food ever since I was a child. I’ve grown up watching my grandmother make amazing dishes and learnt how to make them. I loved writing about recipes, travel and street food, and converted that passion into ‘The Crazy Indian Foodie’ which has now grown into a huge platform with over 360k+ followers. When I started five years ago, the concept of ‘influencers’ was new and influencer marketing was in its nascent stages. Now, there is a huge influx of food pages and also massive growth of influencer marketing with brands.”
From being a full-time corporate employee to starting her own blog as ‘Masterchef Mom’, Uma Raghuraman has come a long way. She started in 2004, sharing her dishes with the world through her Facebook page.
“It was a huge hit and many wanted me to share detailed recipes, the process and stories behind the dishes. This inspired me to start my blog ‘Masterchefmom’. Through it, I wanted to inspire young mothers to cook healthy, creative and interesting dishes that will not only excite the person who eats them, but will also energise and brings loads of enthusiasm to the cook. I received a lot of love for my recipes and also requests to share more than just lunch-box ideas. So, I started sharing recipes of everyday Indian dishes, with step-wise pictures to cook them from scratch. Currently, there are more than 1,000 recipes on my blog to help young mothers going through similar challenges. I also received a lot of appreciation for my food pictures, and that led me to start my Instagram account, which has more than 88K followers today,” she shared with indianexpress.com.
Raghuraman predicts that “one-minute and quick recipes will continue to be popular, as people, working from home need to multitask and create snacks in minutes”. “Such recipes definitely help. Another big trend that I am observing is the popularity of easy-to-cook, simple, home-cooked meals that bring comfort and a sense of well-being. This has been made possible by long shelf-life, pickles, sauces, masala mixes, relishes, chutneys, etc., which can be instantly mixed with hot rice and roti, and consumed.”
While the pandemic is understood to have instilled the habit of eating healthy and eating at home, food bloggers opine an influx of new bloggers may only help the industry expand.
(The writer is an intern at Indian Express)
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