A compilation of 2019 food trends relevant to India
The end of the year brings forth predictions from social media companies and leading food brands on food trends for the next year. The 2019 food trends include general trends with respect to cuisines, techniques, dishes, ingredients, food categories and more.
This is one of my favourite things to read and analyse. It reflects the changing cultures, attitudes towards cooking and eating, popular ingredients and dishes, year after year. It is interesting to see if quinoa, kale, avocado and turmeric will continue with their popularity run and whether keto diets will continue to be the dominating topic of dinner party conversations.
While companies like Pinterest go by what people are pinning and therefore interested in, other companies heavily into user data like Facebook are in a good place to predict trends. Food brands like Whole Foods can make predictions on the basis of their sales. While some other websites rely on random picks, or surveying people in the food space for their views.
I have compiled this list from all the leading 2019 food trends reports (sources at the end of the post) to come up with a comprehensive list of food trends that are relevant to India.
1.Sour flavours – Umami has been a buzzword for sometime now, but sour flavours are set to take over in 2019. Like Samin Nosrat explains in Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, the sour flavour or acid is all important in a dish, making the other flavours pop. Even the fragrance of a sour flavour such as lemon or vinegar gets the salivary glands buzzing with activity in anticipation of the meal. Indian food has an abundance of sour ingredients and condiments such as tamarind, kokum, lemon, raw mango, lemon / mango pickles, tree tomato, bimbli, kachampuli vinegar, amchoor and yogurt. It is time to pucker up and dig into our souring agents. Recipe for Okra in tamarind sauce | Tamarind Rice
2.Foil Pack Dinners – According to the Pinterest 2019 food trends report, the sheet pan dinner craze is now moving to foil pack dinners. Wrap up a bunch of prepped ingredients in foil and leave it to bake in the oven while you attend to self care or any other chore that demands your attention. This hands off approach to healthy home cooking has a scope to include a whole many vegetarian as well as meat based dinners. Given that searches for foil pack dinners have gone up by 759%, this is not a trend going away in a hurry.
3. Reusable packaging / cloth bags – With the plastic ban hitting more and more cities in India, cloth bags, non-plastic packaging of foods, carrying your own cups / bottles to cafes is all set to take over in a big way.
4.Frozen treats like shaved ice – While cold stone ice creams, gelatos and small batch artisanal ice creams have been seeing popularity in recent years, this global trend could mean revival of Indian style ices like gola (crushed ice doused in flavour syrups, cream, spices etc.) Crushed ice served with gourmet syrups and creams can elevate it from a street food to a fancy restaurant setting.
5.Healthier versions of soul food – Facebook’s report states that this is one big trend to watch out for. Indian comfort food like khichdi and traditional meals are the most liked photos on my Instagram feed. Making our traditional meals healthier and more relevant to our not-so-active lifestyles is the best way to preserve our heirloom recipes and our health. Recipe for Pearl Millet Khichdi
6.Sourdough breads – Bread 2.0 is the next big thing as per the Facebook report. Made using healthier alternative flours, gluten free flours, slow fermentation, low-carb bread, artisanal sourdough – there’s a lot happening to our daily bread.
— Nandita Iyer (@saffrontrail) May 16, 2018
7.Ginger water– Warming, soothing, digestive and appetising, ginger is a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic cooking. According to the Pinterest report, searches for ginger water have gone up by 353%. Using ginger water to brew teas or drinking it as it is like an infused water or using it as a base for non-alcoholic drinks, this is one trend we ginger-chai loving Indians will welcome heartily.
8.Chow Chow – Chocho / Chayote squash or chow chow is a vegetable from the gourd family, used to a great extent in South Indian cooking. Pinterest report says that the recipes and pins using chow chow have increased by 76%. Here’s my favourite recipe with chow chow —Chow Chow Thogayal, a Tamil style chutney made using spices and coconut.
9.Cabbage – This humble, unloved vegetable is all set to be the new cauliflower -riced, pizza-based and what not. Last winter, I wrote a post on the versatile cabbage with a bunch of recipes for you to try. While we are on this topic, let me clarify that I do not recommend boiled cabbage at all.
10.Moringa – Move away kale dust and matcha. Our Indian backyard superfood moringa, in powder form, is predicted to be the next favourite green smoothie ingredient. If moringa powder is not your thing, then here are 14 ways to cook with moringa leaves.
11.Turmeric – This golden spice continues to reign the internet with breakout in search volumes, be it for turmeric lattes or golden turmeric paste. Try these – zero calorie Turmeric Iced Tea | Turmeric Cauliflower Rice
— Nandita Iyer (@saffrontrail) January 21, 2016
12.Honey – Indian gourmet food stores stock up a variety of honey these days. Herb infused, spice infused, raw honey, straight from forest, single origin – these are just some of the descriptors used on the labels. Used as a natural sweetener for desserts or smoothie bowls, or used for its medicinal purposes in a glass or warm water or herbal tea, honey is predicted as one of the food trends in 2019. Recipe for Ukrainian Honey Cake
13.Fermented Foods – Almost all regional cooking in India have their own fermented foods. Fermentation is not only a step towards sustainability but also makes nutrients more bioavailable to the body. Probiotic rich fermented foods and drinks will continue to be popular in 2019. My own kitchen has either rejuvelac or kombucha fermenting in a corner.
— Nandita Iyer (@saffrontrail) December 21, 2018
Here’s the bigger list of 2019 food trends compiled from all the above sources–
General food trends
- Clean eating
- Non dairy milk, especially oat milk
- Keto diets
- Pegan – Paleo Vegan diets
- Plant based main course
- Smoothie bowls
- Lab grown meat
- Salad making robots
- Ugly produce
- Healthy snacks
- Grazing tables
- Sleep drinks
- Vegan meats
- New flavour profile – Sour and funky, with shades of heat.
- Cheese Tea
- Eastern Mediterranean cuisines
Specific ingredients and dishes predicted to trend in 2019
- Calabaza, a West Indian pumpkin
- Caldo de pollo, a Mexican chicken soup
- Tiropita, a Greek egg-and-cheese dish
- Middle Eastern spices like zaatar
- North African spices
- Homemade jams
- Adaptogens like ashwagandha
- Bee pollen
- Sea vegetables
- Tahini based desserts
- Alternative fats – MCT, Coconut oil, ghee
- Chulpe corn
- Cannabidiol—or CBD, derived from either marijuana or hemp plants, consumed as a medicinal drink to calm anxiety and reduce insomnia.
- Milkshake IPA
- Coffee beer
- Chlorophyll lattes