Food trends in 2016

A year of spices, home cooking and Asian flavours

With so many predictions for food trends in 2016 there are exciting prospects on the horizon. Last year was about all things healthy be it juices, blends and spiralizing. If the health quotient brings growing awareness how conscious our eating habits are, that can only be a good thing. For me its always been about balance and knowing what you eat and where your ingredients are sourced. From a very young age growing up in India, eating home cooked meals was always about balance, seasonal ingredients and how our family budget could accommodate weekly meals. With so many chefs moving towards vegetarian cooking and emphasis on what’s good for you, there is a rise in recipes using pulses, lentils, beans and a variety of ingredients familiar to regions of Burma, India and Sri Lanka.

Malabar veg ishtu

Vegetables will continue to be the main focus in 2016 making them shine on a plate of food, having more prevalence over meat in meals. This is easily adaptable in Indian cuisine given that over 70% of the Indian population steers towards a vegetarian diet. You can easily see why due to the abundance that thrives within the sub continent. A wide range of vegetables will add excitement all year round due to seasonality and having more access now to Indian style vegetables such as drumsticks and Okra.

On the spice front Turmeric most definitely has taken centre stage with numerous health benefits, especially related to help ease muscle pain. So manufactures have even taken this restorative spice and it hit the consumers shelves in cold juices and teas infused with turmeric. We will see turmeric emerge again in 2016 with its healing properties coming into play. Fresh turmeric is delicious grated in curries or even in salads.

Also the surge of coconut everything is most definitely here to stay; coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut water. All these have been such a relevant part of Indian food for centuries. Local supermarkets in the west now stock them all which makes it easier to source for recipes.

A popular trend for 2016 is having more knowledge and experience of regional ethnic foods. Hidden gems of Asian cuisine in particular those that excite me are regions of Lucknow, Assam, Bihar and Telangana that are starting to showcase their cuisine. Even in cities like Mumbai, New York and London you will find some delicious supper clubs from local communities serving traditional family food. It is predicted these unknown food secrets will be revealed even more in 2016.

chilli

Heat has been a trend in 2015 with the rise of the Ghost pepper from India, Sambal from Southeast Asia and Gochujang however now the focus is on the flavors that chillies and spices can bring. America is leading the way with flavored spiced in using maple syrup being enhanced with Sriracha. Given my sweet tooth spice infused desserts and beverages don’t sound all too bad!

Matt Preston (Food journalist, MasterChef Judge and restaurant critic) has predicted that ‘going back to basics’ will become a heightened topic this year. Such as people making their own cheese and curing their own meats/fish at home. This will accentuate natural ingredients and create a natural product instead of relying on the use of preservatives. A very simple Indian recipe for homemade cheese is Paneer, an Indian cottage cheese made with only 2 ingredients. It’s quick to cook and soaks in spices and flavors beautifully.

Have you been using any of these ingredients already? What do you predict will be the food trends for 2016? Would love to hear so make sure to leave a comment and share your views!

@cookinacurry

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