Published: 06th February 2018
Why this Tiruvannamalai couple's Tiny Cooking videos can make you feel incredibly full
Micro cooking Sakarrai Pongal in a village setting? What's that all about, you wonder? Check out this awesome YouTube channel
Thought that micro cooking was reserved for the Japanese or for celeb chefs to experiment with? This couple from a small village called Thanipadi, near Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, is burning, boiling and charring that stereotype. Ram Kumar and Valarmathi now run a YouTube channel called The Tiny Foods which features them cooking South Indian dishes using super tiny utensils and served on cute little plates. In fact, they take it a step higher by setting up a lot of props to make it seem like this is a meal being served in Lilliput land — except the food is more Sakkarai Pongal than Smoked Salmon!
Time management: The couple starts around 3 pm in the evening on weekends and the shoot goes on until Sunday morning
The couple started it as a hobby after Valarmathi saw a Japanese cooking channel, but they decided to give it a South Indian village twist. All the videos are lush and green looking because they're set in the fields and look and feel like an ode to the Indian farmer — but the food is a little more sophisticated than the average farmhand enjoys, rest assured. With a promise of putting out a new recipe every Saturday, it's become an addiction of sorts for the couple, seeing as how they get time only on the weekends. You see, Valarmathi works as a Village Administration Officer in Dharmapuri and Ram Kumar runs a business in Tiruvannamalai and they are also parents to a 6-month-old now.
As I curiously asked how they find the time to do all this, Valarmathi replied "We love doing this. We make our plans accordingly. Usually, we start around 3 pm in the evening on weekends because that is when we both have time, so the shoot goes on until Sunday morning." When you watch the videos, it will become evident to you that it is Valarmathi who does all the cooking. So what does Ram pitch in with? "He does the video shooting and editing part," she added with a smile.
Wonder why: This is pretty astonishing for a video series that doesn't have a voiceover or fancy instructions playing across the screen
To keep things fresh and interesting, the couple goes hunting to find a 'different' green spot each time to set up their props - little tables, pots, houses, bicycles, plates...you name it, they've done it... and shoot away. "We ensure that we do something different in every video, which is why so many young people are inspired to watch our videos and cook by themselves," she said.
This is pretty astonishing for a video series that doesn't have a voiceover or fancy instructions playing across the screen. The only truly cool part is when Ram Kumar appears as the Tiny Man at the beginning and end of the videos and entices you to try tiny cooking a particular dish with them. Besides making for some exciting gastronomy, this also promotes healthy cooking, using organic produce and reducing food wastage - by reducing the quantity of food consumed per meal.
Location master: To keep things fresh and interesting, the couple goes hunting to find a 'different' green spot each time to set up their props
From a less-than-bite-sized Paneer Tikka to some mouth-watering Mushroom Masala, there are a lot of people who are watching out for their videos now. Within just a few months of having started their YouTube journey, they already have close to 11k subscribers and their videos are rife with compliments of people who love the green tone and 'tiniest' of details that go into the making of their videos.