8 Grandmothers Cooking Up A Desi Food Storm On Social Media
Image Credit: Instagram/Shanti Ramachandran/Usha Bishoyee/Suman Dhamane

When it comes to cooking the most amazing dishes in the world, nobody can surpass grandmothers. Italians have their nonnas who make the most authentic yet simple pastas, while we Indians have our own grandmothers who excel at everything from pickles to desserts. Whether it is your naani, daadi or an aunt of one of your parents, we guarantee that irrespective of region, religion and language, these grandmothers cook the best food at home, and you love her and the goodies she whips up to bits!  

But what happens often is that the culinary talent of these amazing women just stays limited to the four walls of their home kitchens. Thankfully, with the coming of social media, all that is changing now. Not only do we have grandmothers starting their own YouTube and Instagram channels with the help of their grandkids’ help, but they are also coming forward to participate in shows like MasterChef India to slay all with their cooking chops. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Village Cooking Kerala

Among these incredible grandmothers are the following eight women who are focusing on desi, regional cuisines and have conquered social media with their simple cooking, grandmotherly charm and relatability. Here is everything you need to know about them. 

Aapli Aaji by Suman Dhamane 

At 70, Suman Dhamane became quite the YouTube sensation with her simple Maharashtrian delicacies, all of which started when her 17-year-old grandson shot a video of her making Pav Bhaji. Her channel, Aapli Aaji was started in 2020, and today she has over a million subscribers. Dhamane’s cooking is simple and sings with the flavours of Sarola Kasar village in Ahmednagar district. She is now so popular that she has expanded her brand and sells her own spices commercially as well. 

Olday’s Kitchen by Usha Bishoyee 

Dressed in a simple cotton sari in the traditional Bengali aatpoure style, Usha Bishoyee starts her incredibly charming Bengali food video with a chhora or short rhymes. If that doesn’t take you right back to childhood, when your grandmother would teach you the alphabets and nursery rhymes, then her cooking will. Bishoyee started Oldays Kitchen in March 2023 and her channel already has over 394K subscribers. From simple Narkel Posto Bora to exotic Googli or shellfish recipes, she covers the simplest Bengali delicacies that have become increasingly rare these days.  

Myna Street Food by Savithramma 

Based out of Machalipatna, Andhra Pradesh, Savithramma cooks some of the most traditional recipes from the region including lamb, country chicken and even Mysore Pak and pizzas! The octogenarian’s YouTube channel, Myna Street Food has over 1.3 million subscribers. Savithramma’s food is so popular now that now even other grandmothers from the village join her often to cook for the videos.  

Villfood by Pushparani Sarkar 

At 82, Pushparani Sarkar became a millionaire by becoming a popular YouTuber cooking delectable Bengali food from Banavilla, a village near Shantiniketan. Her grandson Sudip Sarkar observed his grandmother’s immense food knowledge and recipes that go back almost a century and realised that he must spread the word via social media. Today, Villfood has over 2.38 million subscribers and her fan base across the nation and world is ever-growing. 

Village Cooking by Omana Amma 

Hailing from Pathanamthitta in Kerala, Omana Amma is the face and talent behind the incredibly popular Village Cooking Kerala channel on YouTube which has a whopping 1.76 million subscribers. Siblings Amjith S and Abhijith S started the channel and since then videos featuring traditional Malayali recipes by the 64-year-old have become immensely famous. From simple Kadala Curry-Puttu for breakfast to monsoon-special chicken roast, she cooks it all with panache. 

Veg Village Food by Aman Kaur 

With 5.73 million subscribers, you would think Veg Village Food by Amar Kaur is just another YouTube food channel. Yet, the philanthropist cooked delicious meals and gives it all away for over 100 kids in her Punjabi courtyard every day. Mostly cooking bucket-loads of food by herself and occasionally with the help of young ones from her family, Aman Kaur shows us how to make everything from lauki chana dal to the creamiest of spaghettis. 

Gujju Ben Na Nasta by Urmila Ben Asher 

In case you didn’t already know her story of indomitable spirit and courage, Mumbai-based Urmila Ben Asher can inspire you to do it all at any age. When her only family, her grandson lost his job during the pandemic, Asher started a side business selling Gujarati pickles, theplas, dhokla, etc—which then turned into an online business and a successful YouTube channel. At 78, Asher has also leased a commercial kitchen and is upscaling her business even further. 

Shanthi’s Kitchen by Shanthi Ramachandran 

What do working grandmothers do after retiring? Shanthi Ramachandran, a retired banker, proves that women can do a lot during their golden years, especially if they have a pet passion like cooking. Her simple food philosophy is: “I post what I cook and don’t cook to post”, which is refreshing in this digital age of social media ruling our lives. From simple Kootus, vadai and Payasam to simple rice and millets recipes, she cooks it all with simplicity and love.