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A brief biography
With a fan base as far flung as the US, UK, Russia, Singapore and Australia, this resident of Gudiwada of Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, had been hailed by the internet as ‘Cooking Queen’.
She was married at 11 and widowed with five children by 22. It wasn’t till she was 105 that her social media journey started — when her grandson Lakshman uploaded the first YouTube video of her making brinjal curry. The video proved so popular that Lakshman started shooting videos of her making mutton chukka, pavakkai varuval (bittergourd fry) and vazhakka poriyal (raw plantain fry). Apart from showcasing traditional recipes from Andhra, Kerala and Telangana, Mastanamma created her own specialties like watermelon chicken, emu egg curry, duck roast, snail fry, etc that broke the internet. Following viewers’ requests, Mastanamma also took a shot at making chicken pizza, chocolate cake and KFC-style chicken.
Hundreds mourned her demise on Twitter and You-Tube, including actress and Congress member Kushboo and singer Raashi Khanna. A video of her last journey had over 78,000 views, with 50,000 users checking into the live streaming on her YouTube channel ‘CountryFoods’ on Monday. Some fans abroad, puzzled by street dancing during her funeral procession, were enlightened by online mourners on South Indian rituals. “I know she lived a long happy life, but she was like a Grandma to me all the way from California,” said J Anna.
Mastanamma would always cook in the on a firewood stove, against the backdrop of lush green paddy fields where she had toiled for most of her adult life as an agricultural labourer. All her videos sparkle with her cheery grin and lively comments. With her grandson’s help, she opened a restaurant in Guntur with a carefully curated menu.
With over 1.2 million subscribers, India’s oldest YouTuber and celebrity chef 107-year-old Karre Mastanamma passed away in 2018, leaving fans heartbroken and grieving.