The USP of the channel, run by Saravanan K and Ranjitha K, is that a variety of miniature dishes are cooked with real ingredients over a flame
Assembling choppu saaman (kitchen play set) and pretending to cook biryani, gulab jamun, tea and whatever else that took hold of your imagination…who hasn’t done this as a child? But, while you probably used mud and water for your creations, for Saravanan K and Ranjitha K, a brother-sister duo from Chennai that runs the Miniature Cooking Show channel, cooking with tiny utensils is not exactly child’s play.
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The channel, started in 2018, now has 331K followers on Facebook and 1.76 lakh subscribers on YouTube. On it, you will find recipe videos for dishes ranging from Mughlai mutton curry, Kerala-style banana leaf fish fry and rava dosa to egg bonda, khoya puran poli and even hot jalebi!
The USP of the channel is that all the miniature dishes are cooked with real ingredients over a flame against a rustic background and set to traditional music. They upload a video every day on Facebook and once a week on YouTube — their Motu Patlu samosa recipe garnered 1.3 crore views on the latter platform.
Ranjitha, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, handles the creative side: she does the cooking and designs the set, while visual designer Saravanan shoots the videos and handles the technical end of things.
Says Saravanan, “We started a regular cooking channel in 2017 with a family friend and called it The Village Foods. We didn’t know how the YouTube algorithm worked then; we used to post nearly 20-minute long videos. Eventually, I figured out how YouTube and Facebook worked. My sister, who was into hand-crafting dolls and stitching clothes for them, showed interest in starting a channel. We thought why not combine the two? That’s how the Miniature Cooking Show was born.”
Saravanan says that viewers get the real deal; they do not employ camera tricks while filming. “On camera, it is easy to show a miniature object as a full-size one, but not the other way around. So, for every video, we have to find or create miniature food. For example, we found a tiny orange in the local market which we used for our orange juice video. To make miniature paneer, we buy the regular kind from a local shop and cut it into small cubes and make a miniature version of our packaging. Viewers can see Ranjitha’s hand stir and sauté in the video to prove that the cooking is in miniature.”
While the duo pays attention to algorithms while deciding on the recipes to showcase, Ranjitha says they have also featured their mother’s sambar, chicken kuzhambu and vegetarian thali recipes and dishes from Maharashtrian and Gujarati cuisine.
Of course, cooking in miniature does pose a few challenges. She says, “I work with small quantities and tiny vessels. Sometimes, the tealight candle [that provides the flame] just won’t light or sometimes the clay utensils burst. But it has become easier since I keep doing it.”
As for what she thinks draws viewers to their videos, she says, “It is because it’s something new. People even see our utensils and ask us where we bought them.” The duo gets the clay utensils custom-made from local potters. Saravanan adds, “Children can learn cooking from our videos.” But the best part is that the videos remind people of their childhood.
Follow the Miniature Cooking Show on Facebook, YouTube or miniaturecooking show.com.