Dalgona Candy, Baked Feta Pasta, And Other Viral Food Trends From 2021

These are the viral food hacks and recipes Indians were obsessed with in 2021.

Published On Dec 31, 2021 | Updated On Mar 07, 2024


As 2021 comes to an end, the internet is buzzing with end-of-year reports on trends across categories. From the top fashion trends that shaped 2021 to pop culture moments that gave out endless positive vibes—there are plenty of lists that wrapped up trends that ruled 2021. And if amidst all this you’re missing food trends that people were obsessed with this year on social media, here’s a guide for you.

Much like last year, the spotlight was on viral food trends. While the craze of most trendy recipes died down after a few weeks, there are a few that continue to stay wildly popular among the people of social media—particularly Instagram. Expect dalgona candy, vegan bacon, papad aglio e olio, and many such mind-boggling dishes.

If 2020 was all about dalgona coffee, the first half of 2021 was about dalgona candy. People melted sugar, frothed it up with the help of baking soda, and then flattened it on a sheet to make brittle candy. They even pushed shapes like star, umbrella, and triangle at their centre and kids were challenged to carve out the shape using a needle. If the shape remained intact, they won—if not, a punishment awaited them. This game called ppopgi (toffee game on Instagram) was inspired by Netlfix’s most popular series titled Squid Game.

The fascination was kickstarted by TikTok international users and it reached Instagram a few weeks after.

Making delicious wraps may not be rocket science but a new method that went viral on TikTok and Instagram showed us how to make the process even easier. Started by Miami-based Valentina Mussi, this hack involved dividing a chapati or tortilla into quarters, placing a different dish or ingredient in each quarter, folding, and then cooking it either on a tawa, grill, or a panini press.

People following the plant-based diet went bananas over this nutritious vegan bacon snack that celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija shared on her Instagram profile. Banana peel, soya sauce, peri-peri seasoning, garlic powder, smoked paprika powder, and maple syrup are the ingredients used to make this zero-waste snack. The best part? It can be whipped up in minutes in an air fryer.

Trust Grand Trunk Rasoi 2 host, and founder of Goila Butter Chicken, Saransh Goila to experiment and create unique recipes using simple, pantry ingredients. In July 2021, he surprised his social media followers by posting a recipe video of ‘papad aglio-e-olio’—his take on the classic Italian pasta. While a major part of the recipe is the same as aglio-e-olio, he replaced pasta in this dish with boiled papad.

In September this year, when we wrote about Dubai’s obsession with edible gold-coated food, little did we know that India wasn’t far behind. For Onam 2021, Kollam-based home baker and PhD student, Anna Elizabeth George created world’s first edible sari. The dessert’s design was the same as Kerala’s traditional kasavu sari and it was made using 100 wafer papers. The golden border that a Kasavu boasts, was created using gold dust lustre.

Meanwhile, Delhi’s Yamu’s Panchayat, which is the country’s first paan parlour, introduced a Ferrero Rocher paan with edible gold varq and gold-coated cardamom seeds. The paan went viral in no time and was being promoted as a chlorophyll-rich paan that can help energise your body. 

Another example of gold-coated food is the range of burgers that Louis Burger introduced in 2021. This included two creations—Louis Grand Royale and Truffle Take, which had buns coated with edible gold leaf.

Feta and pasta lovers swore by this one-pan (tray) baked feta pasta when this recipe by Michigan-based recipe developer Yumna Jawad went viral on social media. The craze for this dish still continues. This easy-peasy viral sensation involved baking cherry tomatoes and feta cheese in olive oil with a seasoning of herbs and garlic to create a creamy sauce, and then mixing boiled pasta with it to make a meal.  

Another viral hack/recipe by Yumna in 2021 was air fryer pasta chips that one could season with a seasoning of their choice. Easy to master and fuss-free, these pasta chips reminded many of fryums. That said, since they are cooked in an air fryer, they are comparatively healthier. If you want to try your hands at this recipe at home, we’ve got the full written recipe here.

Photo: Canva and featured influencers/restaurants