Not many of us had a productive Covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdown as we sat around waiting for the tough times to pass. But for some people it has been a life changing experience.
One such person is the 70-year-old woman from Maharashtra, Suman Dhamane aka Aapli Aaji (meaning our grandmother), who has become a sensation on YouTube for her amazing cooking skills.
She posted her first cooking video in March and now she has more than six lakh subscribers on YouTube and has amassed over 5.7 crore views on her videos. She is famous for her traditional style of cooking recipes which she shares from her home in Sarola Kasar village which is about 15 km from Ahmednagar.
It all started in January when her 17-year-old grandson Yash Pathak requested her to make pav bhaji. After seeing a few recipes on YouTube, Dhamane said she could do it better. She was right. That is when Pathak had the idea of starting a channel for her. He started posting videos of her grandmother’s cooking and it became a huge success.
Dhamane started sharing various Maharashtrian recipes made with homemade spices on her YouTube channel 'Aapli Aaji’. The first ever video posted was that of a bitter gourd recipe. It attracted thousands of views in a very short period. She followed it up with more recipes like Maharashtrian sweet dishes, groundnut chutney, green vegetables, eggplant and other traditional dishes.
She managed to do all of this without having any formal education and knowledge of the Internet. Her grandson helped in that regard. He even taught her English words for various food ingredients. Soon she hit one lakh followers and was given the Silver Play Button from YouTube. She received the YouTube Creator's Award which honours the most popular channels.
Dhamane has posted over 150 recipes on her channel so far and is gaining more popularity as time goes on. She said she never thought of doing something like this but now feels uneasy if she does not share her recipes on the channel. She has a range of recipes lined up for the festive season. Check out her channel: