YouTube sensation 107-year old grandmother Karre Mastanamma passed away on Monday night at her native village of Gudiwada in Tenali mandal of Guntur district.
Mastanamma with her toothless smile appeared on YouTube channel Country Foods, run by her grandson Lakshman which has over 1.2 million subscribers, cooking in a very traditional way. She used local ingredients, refused to use anything but the most basic of equipment and built the wood fire on which she cooked herself.
Her iconic recipe for melon rind chicken was her first viral success and she quickly amassed a loyal following who couldn’t get enough of watching her cook. Mastanamma thought herself to be 107 years old but had no birth certificate to prove it.
Having endured a difficult life, toiling in the local rice fields to make a meagre living, Mastanamma lost her husband at age 22 and lost four of her five children to cholera, she found fame in later life and seemed to not shy away from it even opening a restaurant together with her grandson. Her larger than life personality and gentle ways drew people around her, both locally and from around the globe thanks to her YouTube cooking videos.
Happy to demonstrate how to cook traditional favourites such as biryani, she also had creative flair and showed her culinary inventiveness with dishes such as her Emu egg curry and Telgu-style brinjal curry.
Karre Mastanamma’s legacy of a treasured archive of traditional Indian cooking will live on and surely inspire others. Rest in Peace Mastanamma.