The Village Cooking Channel (VCC) has now become the first Tamil YouTube channel to hit one crore (10 million) subscribers, a few months after it went viral for featuring Rahul Gandhi cooking mushroom biryani. The channel creators, after receiving the ‘diamond play button’, posted a video on Sunday, thanking their subscribers and YouTube. Seventy-five-year-old Periyathambi and his grandchildren, who are seen cooking in the agricultural fields of Pudukottai district, have also donated Rs 10 lakh to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Covid-19 relief fund from their YouTube earnings, the Indian Express reported.
“This is possible only due to the effort of my grandchildren. One day they told me we can start a YouTube channel and I asked them what YouTube is. They then explained to me the process and showed me videos of other cooking channels and I agreed to do it," Express quoted Periyathambi as saying.
The team usually employs traditional methods and ingredients for its dishes, serving the finished product to orphanages and others in need. Periyathambi’s grandson Murugesan said that the channel had encountered a loss of around Rs 1.5 lakh in its first eight months, which was when they decided to change it up and start using items readily available in nearby lakes and ponds.
Ahead of the Tamil Nadu elections in April, the channel had gone viral after Rahul Gandhi made an appearance on it during his campaign. He was accompanied by Congress leader and Member of Parliament from Karur, Jothimani. Gandhi interacted with the cooks while preparing a mushroom biryani and helped the chefs in making the “raita", a side dish that accompanies biryani.
The 14-minute video went viral on many social media platforms, with the Gandhi scion being lauded for attempting to assimilate with the local culture as he said the names of the cooking ingredients in Tamil.
In the description of the video, the Village Cooking Channel wrote, “Today we cook mushroom biryani recipe by using traditional and healthy ingredients. Rahul Gandhi Enjoying mushroom biryani by eating with us. We never forget this big moment in our life. Thank you so much Rahul sir for this great opportunity".
The channel, which was created in 2018 has several popular uploads including interesting dishes like a healthy fruit salad and mutton curry, fish fry prepared for village weddings among others.