This 82-year-old Coimbatore cook and her 'Re 1 idli' have wowed even Anand Mahindra

After Anand Mahindra tweeted about her, all eyes are now on M Kamalathal, a cook hailing from Vadivelampalayam, Coimbatore, who has been making idlis for the past 30 years, and at the same price of Re 1 for the past 15 years.

13th Sep 2019
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Cooking can evoke different emotions in people - for some, it is a job, for others, it is a chore or a responsibility. And there are some who cook for fun. Meet 82-year-old M Kamalathal from Vadivelampalayam, Coimbatore, for whom cooking is a passion. Especially making idli, which she has been doing for the past 30 years.


But, do you know what’s even more fascinating? These hot steamed idlis cost only Re 1 each - a price that hasn’t changed in the past 15 years. Kamalathal does everything on her own, accompanied by her granddaughter-in-law, P. Aarthi.


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M. Kamalathal (Image: The Hindu)



The Hindu reports that she wakes up at 5 am and starts preparing the batter for the idli with eight kg of rice, and makes the chutney using a grinding stone.


She opens her stall at 6 am and closes depending upon how long the batter lasts. Customers start arriving from 7 am and Kamalathal begins cooking in her traditional idli vessels on an earthen stove using firewood.


When asked why she don’t use a gas stove, she said, “I don’t know how to use a gas stove.”


But things changed when Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group, saw a video about her and took to Twitter. According to the Indian Express, this led to Kamalathal becoming an overnight session.





In no time, the tweet went viral and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited or BPCL Coimbatore provided Kamalathal with a free LPG connection. This news received much applause from across Twitter, including Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gases Dharmendra Pradhan, who said,



Anand Mahindra also added that he would be glad to support her cost of using LPG.


When asked if she would ever increase her price, Kamalathal said,


“This is all for punniyam [moral or religious merit]. Some prefer to eat for Rs 10 and some prefer to eat for Rs 25. Let them eat”, reports The Hindu.



(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)



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