What India Craves: Most searched foods in India from January to December 2020
By Reya Mehrotra
The year that went by in lockdown witnessed people binging and ordering indoors instead of stepping out. Samosas, golgappas, momos and everything else that falls under the category of street foods was experimented at home by quarantine chefs during the lockdown in 2020. It is no doubt that when Zomato 2020 Rewind report was released, records for ordering at home were broken. Here is the list of the most searched foods in India from January to December 2020 as per Zomato.
Celebrations happened indoors and online over Zoom calls and videos. Many turned quarantine bakers and baked a range of cakes from banana cakes to cupcakes and birthday cakes for themselves while locked inside homes. In such a year when the world was divided by social distance but united by the internet, cakes were one of the most searched for desserts on Zomato as everyone sent wishes and greetings online and ordered for themselves to celebrate at home.
Usually made with buns or bread rolls with meat patties or vegetable patties placed between the two, burgers are undeniably the most preferred fast foods. Lettuce, cheese, onions, tomatoes too make for a healthy filling. According to Zomato, burgers remained one of the most searched foods in 2020 as the craving for fast food grew amid the lockdown.
Biryani, the ultimate festive food, comes in many regional twists – the Hyderabadi biryani, Lucknowi biryani, Kolkata biryani, Memoni biryani, Malabar biryani, Thalassery biryani, Ambur biryani and more. It is said to have originated in the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal reign. Biryani remained one of the most ordered dish with 19,88,094 orders for vegetable biryani from January to December 2020. In fact, Zomato delivered 22 of them every minute in 2020.
The Italian delight is said to have been perfected by the Italians but its origin finds roots in China and even Greece, where it was consumed as a flatbread with some toppings. The cheesy treat is a hit in all seasons, whatever the time of the year. According to Zomato, one of their customers in Jalgaon, Maharashtra, ordered 369 pizzas in 2020. No doubt, pizza remained one of the most ordered dishes in 2020. From more than 4.5 lakh orders in May, to more than nine lakh orders in July, September witnessed more than 12 lakh pizza orders all over the country. However, the festive season broke the records with more than 17 lakh orders in November.
Dosas are said to have been originated from the Udupi region of Karnataka. But some historians believe that dosas were already being consumed in the ancient Tamil regions as early as the 1st century AD, as per its mentions in the Sangam literature. Considered healthy options and rich in healthy carbohydrates, dosas today are not just limited to south India but all of India, in various varieties – masala dosa, cheese dosa, butter dosa, paneer dosa and more. They are best consumed with coconut chutney and sambhar. Zomato shares that dosas were one of the most searched for food dishes in 2020.
An Indian thali forms the most wholesome and fulfilling meals. It consists of two or more vegetables, dal, rice, rotis, papad, salad and raita. Thalis also differ from region to region with local cuisines making the cut in the thalis, for instance, the Gujarati thali, Rajasthani thali, Maharashtrian thali, etc. No doubt a sumptuous meal was craved by those struggling to manage their time between working from home and working for home. Thalis remained one of the most searched for items on Zomato in 2020.
Momos are native to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh and other northeastern regions of India. The dumplings are made of white flour kneaded with water with fillings of sautéed vegetables. They are easy to cook and popular street foods in almost every city. Newer variations in momos include paneer momos, fried momos, tandoori momos, Afghani momos and so on while the steamed ones remain the most popular. Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune emerged as the top momo-loving cities with the most numbers of momos orders. In all, 2.5 million momos were ordered in the top four momos-loving cities from January to December 2020.
Invented in medieval India, gulab jamuns were derived from a fritter that the central Asian Turkic invaders brought to India. It is also claimed that Mughal emperors accidentally prepared the dish. The milk solid-based sweet is popularly consumed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and the Maldives and other south Asian countries. It is also called Golap Jam in Bangladesh and Gulaabujaanu in the Maldives. According to Zomato data, over one lakh orders were placed only during the Diwali week, with Mumbai leading the chart in 2020.