Tamil Nadu: Rahul Gandhi tries his hand at cooking in Karur
TRICHY: ‘Vengayam,’ announced the “guest cook” in blue T shirt and denim, throwing in sliced onion into a vessel, amidst the lungi-clad group whose “village cooking channel” is popular on YouTube. On Friday, the channel got an extra few lakh views as Rahul Gandhi joined the fun, making onion raita to go with mushroom biryani.
“I do cooking,” said Rahul, stirring the mix, “I do quite a lot.” The former Congress president had been on a three-day political campaign in Karur district when, egged on by party MP Jothimani Sennimalai, he decided to take a break and join the cookery show presented by a Pudukottai-based family.
The video shot on the outskirts of Aravakurichi in Karur on January 25, starts with the making of mushroom biryani before Rahul walks in much to the excitement of the members and chats with them. After tasting the raitha he mixed, Rahul sits down with the channel members to have the dish on banana leaf as Jothimani translates the conversation.
Subramanian , one of the team members, says that many youths in his village go abroad to earn a living. Having achieved success in the food channel, they also aspired to go abroad for cooking. Rahul asks him where they wanted to visit. “USA, Thailand, China, Singapore, Malaysia and everywhere,” he says At this, the Congress leader tells them he has a good friend (Sam Pitroda) in Chicago. “Should I tell him if he can try and organise you people to cook there?,” Rahul Gandhi asks, and assured the team that he will put in a word with him.
“Romba nalla irukku” (it is really good), Rahul says after finishing the meal. “Next time when I come, you have to make me try the termite (eesal or winged termite).” Two years ago, the channel had released a video on preparing a dish with winged termites that went viral across India. He also encouraged the other members including M Periyathambi, V Murugesan, T Tamilselvan and D Muthumanickam to consider cooking dishes in other states.
“We cannot believe that a leader like Rahul Gandhi was with us for about 35 minutes and had lunch,” says V Subramanian, cameraman of the channel which has six members, all belonging to one family of Chinna Veeramangalam village near Aranthangi town. “We were given the liberty to pick a dish of our choice for Rahul anna (elder brother). As we were not sure whether he will have non-veg food, we opted to cook mushroom biriyani,” he adds.
The channel has over 150 cooking videos, all shot in about two years. The 14-minute video released on Friday night caught even local Congress functionaries by surprise as it garnered more than a million views in about two hours.