Call it the effect of a lot of free time on hand or restaurants being shut, cooking and baking at home have been one of the many activities that people have resorted to amid lockdown. Now, a new study provides insights into what Indians have been busy cooking.
A keyword-based study has revealed the recipes Indians have been searching during the lockdown. As per the study, which tracked data from February till May 2020, the most used keywords containing the word ‘recipe‘ were; cake recipe, samosa recipe, jalebi recipes, momos recipes, dhokla recipe, paneer recipe, pani puri recipe, breakfast recipes, bread recipe, and pasta recipes.
The study, conducted by SEMrush, an online visibility management platform, also captured how many times keywords that began with ‘how to cook‘ were searched between February and May. Among the searches, the most number of searches were for how to cook rice, how to cook brown rice, how to cook quinoa, how to cook pasta, how to cook broccoli, and how to cook basmati rice. In the period studied, searches with these keywords remained steady signalling that most Indian households already know how to prepare these foods. Searches for these foods were not impacted by the current lockdown.
However, interestingly, from February to March, searches that began with ”how to bake cake”, rose significantly with 238.46 per cent. Of this increase, the highest percentage increase was for the keywords “how to bake bread” and “how to bake bread at home”. Searches for both keywords, respectively, increased by 515 per cent and 614 per cent. In April, the percentage increase in the number of times these keywords were searched grew by a further 81 per cent and 190 per cent, respectively.
Some households may be utilising the lockdown period to try and become more self-sufficient, as per the study. The study also shed light on how pasta has been a favourite with online searches for “how to make pasta” rising by 50 per cent.
Speaking about the results of the study, Fernando Angulo, head of communications, SEMrush said, “It’s thrilling to see what foods Indians make at home when they don’t have access to restaurants and maids. We believe many of the practices Indians are adopting will be carried forward to when the lockdown ends. Many, who have learned how to make bread at home, may continue to consume homemade bread even when lockdown ends. Similarly, those who get the hang of making snacks at home may not opt to buy them when things normalise.”
He added, “To restaurants, our study provides insights into the kinds of foods Indian like. Our study suggests that India is still overwhelmingly a vegetarian society. The only non-vegetarian recipe searched for was chicken; searches for it increased by 123 per cent from March to April. To restaurants, this signals that chicken is the most palatable of non-vegetarian food in India.”