‘Dining in is the new dining out’. That’s the common refrain in food circles of late.
With the pandemic shutting down restaurants and impacting food delivery businesses the world over, people have been compelled to cook at home.
But that comes with its own set of challenges.
From grocery shopping and menu planning to recipe hunting and stacking up ingredients to finally executing the dish can seem like a chore, especially for noobs.
To simplify meal planning and add some ‘fun’ to it, many are turning to Cookpad — the world’s largest recipe-sharing platform.
Cookpad is home to over six million recipes shared by home cooks from around the world. These elaborate recipes, guided cooking methods, and ‘cooksnaps’ cover myriad cuisines and cultures, and are available in 29 languages in 72 countries.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Cookpad has over 100 million monthly users, who form one of the most engaged online cooking communities in the world. Cookpad is also available as an Alexa skill in Spain.
The Instagram for recipe sharing
Content on Cookpad is fully user generated, social, and interactive. You can browse through a diverse collection of recipes or search by specifics like ingredients, seasonal dishes, holiday favourites, etc. You can also look up ‘popular searches’ in your region.
The app lets you follow home cooks from their profile pages to keep a track of all their posts. You can like, comment, share recipes, ask cooking-related questions, and also engage in real-time conversations on recipe threads.
Think Instagram for recipe sharing.
Cookpad has crossed 10 million installs on Google Play Store India, and is rated 4.7 out of 5. It is among the top grossing ‘Food & Drink’ apps across Android and iOS.
The app is also localised in Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, and Tamil.
Whether you cook daily or are looking to discover new cuisines or simply, finding your feet in the kitchen post the pandemic — Cookpad has everything for everyone.
Cookpad’s premium version can be availed for $3 a month in Japan and Indonesia.
Interestingly, the platform is environmentally conscious and committed to planting a tree for every new recipe shared by users.
How to create a recipe on Cookpad
You can sign in with your email accounts to browse through recipes or create one.
The ‘Create’ option is free and available to all users who sign in. To post a recipe, you have to tap the ‘Create’ icon on the menu bar.
Cookpad throws up a detailed recipe backend to guide creators at every step.
They can add elements like recipe photo, title of the dish, inspiration behind it, cooking time, number of serves, ingredients (with measurements), and an illustrated step-by-step method of preparation.
Hit ‘publish’ to post the recipe on Cookpad.
Besides recipes, creators can also upload ‘cooksnaps’ to share cooking experiences to inspire others. They can also organise all recipes, receive feedback from users, and check in-app analytics (to find their most popular recipes).
The ‘Activity’ tab lets creators keep track of mentions and direct messages, while the Search tab — similar to that on Instagram — gives quick access to any recipe.
Verdict: Home cooking made ‘fun’ and social
Cookpad started with the simple mission of ‘making every day cooking fun’.
Going by the user reviews on app stores and social media, it would be safe to suggest that the platform has accomplished its mission.
“I found it very helpful in deciding what to cook and to preserve and share my own recipes as well. The community is very vibrant and helpful,” wrote one user.
Not only does Cookpad serve as a comprehensive recipe discovery app, but it also makes cooking a social and community experience — something that worked wonderfully well for people in isolation during the pandemic.
Add to that, Cookpad also serves as an avenue for millions of homemakers around the world to organise and store their recipes digitally or even pass down as family heirlooms (if you’re Indian).
One could perhaps argue that for a platform with global scale, Cookpad’s user interface lacks polish and finesse. But perhaps, therein lies its success.
It’s easy and fuss-free… just like good, ol’ home-cooked food.