While searching for some good cooking videos on Youtube, my wife came across this channel. It has a simple premise: an elderly Indian gentleman cooks a lot of food and gives it to orphans and underprivileged people. His recipes are simple. In some cases he just makes french fries or ramen noodles. What I like about these videos is that he cooks outdoors using simple pots and pans over an open fire which he lights himself. He has a small knife (which seems a bit dull) and painstakingly cuts massive amounts of vegetables.
Arumugam is “Grandpa” who lives in Coimbatore in western Tamil Nadu, India. His son Gopinath created the Youtube channel filming his dad cooking traditionally, packing up the food, and delivering it to orphanages.
Each video is like a meditation. Watching Arumugam slows you down. Watching him wash the vegetables out in a field with water from a jug, prepping the food, lighting the fire, then cooking is a delight for the senses. For those who like to cook fast, watching this man’s knife skills will drive you nuts. But slow and steadily, he will dice up a whole sack of onions sitting in a malasana-type posture. Any yoga teacher can’t help to notice how good his posture is and how easily he sits for what appears to be hours at at time.
My favorite videos are the ones where he cooks simple dishes like ramen or french fries. That’s all he makes. He puts a lot of love into these dishes. With his french fries he mixes them with some type of paprika seasoning which looks delicious. The reason why I like the simple food ones is because it shows that you don’t need to be elaborate when you help people, and any thing you can do for others yields large rewards. The smiles on the kids’ faces when they are eating are priceless.
To see Arumugam’s repertoire of dishes is astounding. He even has a dish he makes out of a stingray. There are a lot of traditional Indian preparations including and a variety of Biryani recipes. Much like a post I did a few years ago on Chef Pasquale, these are not so much “how to videos” as much as they show someone cooking soulful food from their culture. In this case demonstrating karma yoga in an unmistakably clear way.