Famous Indian YouTuber Dies at Age 107

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. from scratch / frʌm skrætʃ / (idiom) – describes something that is made using basic resources

    The chef baked cookies from scratch using raw ingredients.

  2. back in the day / bæk ɪn ðə deɪ / (idiom) – in the past

    Back in the day, people cooked food over open fires.

  3. distinct / dɪˈstɪŋkt / (adj) – having a unique characteristic

    My grandmother’s sushi recipe is distinct because it has unusual ingredients.

  4. fond / fɑːnd / (adj) – having a liking or affection toward someone or something

    My family is fond of watching musicals.

  5. fall ill / fɑːl ɪl / (idiom) – to get sick

    I fell ill after going on a tiring trip.


Read the text below.

An Indian grandmother who became famous for her YouTube cooking videos passed away at age 107.

Karre Mastanamma, or Mastanamma, rose to fame through her YouTube channel called “Country Foods.” Launched in 2016, the channel features videos in which the grandmother prepares and cooks traditional Indian dishes from scratch. Mastanamma’s great-grandson, who manages the channel, said that “Country Foods” was created to entertain viewers and to show them how people cooked back in the day.

The videos eventually became viral. One of them, which shows Mastanamma cooking chicken that was placed inside a hollow watermelon, got more than 12 million views.  The video’s popularity helped the channel gain 1.2 million subscribers.

Some of Mastanamma’s specialties included eggplant curry, egg dosa pancakes, bamboo chicken biryani, and spicy catla fish curry.

A BBC correspondent commented that the elderly chef had a distinct cooking style. For instance, instead of using a cooking stove, Mastanamma would cook over an open fire that she lit herself.  She was also fond of cooking dishes using fresh ingredients, such as fish, that she got from nearby sources.

Shortly before Mastanamma’s death, new videos on “Country Foods” became less frequent. As a result, fans suspected that the grandmother fell ill. In December, Mastanamma’s family announced that she passed away. Her relatives uploaded videos of her funeral and of touching tributes from family and friends on her channel.

Fans paid tribute to Mastanamma and expressed their grief on social media. A netizen praised Mastanamma for doing a great job as a YouTuber even at over 100 years old. Others remained positive that her legacy will always live on.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Would you be interested to watch Mastanamma’s videos on the “Country Foods” YouTube channel? Why or why not?
• What do you think are the reasons why Mastanamma gained popularity?

Discussion B

• Do you think filming videos is a good way to showcase a country’s culture and traditions? Explain.
• If you were given an opportunity to showcase your country’s culture and traditions, how would you do it?