In the age of MasterChef, Mastanamma Karre took YouTube by storm with her simple and rustic cooking. Country Foods, a cooking channel started by her grandson gave big names like Sanjeev Kapoor a run for their money. But yesterday, we were met with the sad news that the 107 year old had passed away. She may be gone, but her recipes are a legacy we’ll never forget.
She Made Prawn Curry in her First Video
The video starts off with an introduction to the legendary chef. It tells viewers that despite being 105 years old, she can still see clearly and cook by herself. She begins by removing the prawn shells and then marinates them in aromatics. These, she grinds up using a traditional mortar and pestle. The dish is cooked over a traditional chulha and served with rice.
Uploaded on 20 December 2016, this video has over 1.8 million views today. Over the course of 2 years, more than 100 recipes have been posted on the channel.
Her Secret ingredient was LOVE
Mastanamma’s popularity was entirely due to her own talent. She was a self-taught cook and didn’t use any fancy kitchen equipment or ingredients. No gadgets. No artificial lighting. Just traditional Indian cooking, like how it was in the olden days. Everything was fresh, earthy and deeply flavourful.
Her most loved recipe is the Watermelon Chicken with a whopping 11 million views. Just to put this in context, the most popular Tarla Dalal video on Youtube has 4.3 million views. Other popular recipes include Egg Dosa, Brinjal Curry, Bread Gulab Jamun and Chicken Pickle.
She Lived a Long and Happy Life
In a video uploaded to the Country Foods channel in February 2017, Mastanamma shared snippets from her life. She was only 11 when she got married and thus, was unable to attend school. She recounts that her dowry was also Rs.11 and her father-in-law treated her like family. She settled in Gudivada village near Guntur, Andhra Pradesh went on to have 5 children.
She’d always been quite active and hardworking – swimming in the river and carrying heavy bags of rice. One of our favourite anecdotes of her has to be the incident where 2 brothers from the village were troubling her. When one of them held her hand, she threw him into the river. And when the other asked for help to save him, she responded by saying that he too would suffer the same fate!
Her Final Journey
We hope that more and more people embrace and propagate her style of rustic cooking. The best way to remember her, in our humble opinion, is to make and enjoy her recipes with your family and loved ones.