It is often the spirited announcement of the footpath shopkeepers that draws the attention of the customers. Their fabulous voice modulation and infectious energy are extremely appealing and lure people to check out their products. Meanwhile, a grandfather and a group of brothers have been inviting foodies from all over the globe to their world of flavours in rhythmic Tamil.
Youtube channel called Village Cooking Channel with its whopping 6.93 million subscribers has been treating their viewers to some local dishes and spectacular rural lifestyle. Their energetic opening piece where the group says “Ellarum vaango” in local dialect has already become an iconic catchphrase.
Great Indian cooking
A small hamlet called Chinnaveeramangalam in Pudukottai district in Tamil Nadu has now become quite famous around the world. Cousins V Subramanian, V Murukesan, V Ayyanar, G Tamilselvan, T Muthumakkam and their grandfather M Periyathambi have been making amazing cooking videos that have broken the barriers of language and are loved by people of all states. Periyathambi is an acclaimed master chef at Chinnaveeramangalam.
The idea to produce online cooking videos featuring his grandfather had first clicked in Subramaian’s head. An MPhil scholar in Commerce, Subramanian convinced his cousins, who were doing odd jobs in the village, to help him create the videos.
The cousins who had dreamed of going abroad by earning some money readily agreed to be part of the channel. The fabulous journey of the Village Cooking Channel thus began when the dream of a group of youngsters merged with the incredible cooking flair of their beloved grandfather.
The camera didn’t just focus on the cooking and the food but panned to the breathtaking beauty of the pristine lands of Chinnveramangalam. The men cook on makeshift stovetops beside the lush green paddy fields. They hardly use store bought ingredients in their dishes. From the chillies to the coriander and turmeric, they grind them fresh on the traditional ammikallu (stone grinder). The purity of the freshly sourced ingredients is animatedly announced before adding each one of them into the dish. Periyathambi who is a well-known cook in the village isn’t used cooking for less than one hundred people. So, they use huge vessels and cauldrons to cook delicious dishes.
Periyathambi and his grandsons sit together and taste every dish after a hard day’s work of prepping and cooking. After filming the video, the food is served to the destitute and orphanage in their village. The channel earns a monthly income of around Rs 10 lakhs from Youtube alone. Besides, they get additional income from Facebook too. Periyathambi and his grandsons spend around Rs 2-3 lakhs every month as production cost for filming the videos. The remaining amount is equally shared between the group members.
The latest video is the family’s grand celebration of the Mattupongal festival in the village. The video has already grabbed more than 71500 views in just 16 hours after uploading it. Many have copied the unique theme of the Village Cooking Channel and are creating similar videos in various languages.
However, none of them is authentic and genuine enough to give Periyathambi and his impeccable cooking skills a run for his money.
The channel had been uploading 2-3 videos a week until the lockdown was announced. However, now, they are able to upload just one video a week due to the pandemic restrictions. The true fans of the Village Cooking Channel, meanwhile, wait patiently for their favourite grandpa and cousins to cook up something special.