Malaysians stuck at home are loving a new YouTube channel for its relaxing simplicity and easy-to-follow local recipes.
The channel, Sugu Pavithra, is jointly run by a husband and wife duo.
Pavithra, a 28-year-old housewife and Sugu, a 29-year-old estate worker, from Sungai Siput, Perak have recently gained attention online for their popular kari ayam recipe video.
It has garnered over 1.3 million views despite being posted just a month ago.
In fact, the couple had already amassed over 390,000 subscribers in the four months since they started their YouTube channel in late January this year, and they have been reeling in the unexpected success.
After watching one or two videos, it is easy to understand why the cooking channel gained so many loyal fans and followers so quickly
Pavithra, the main host of the channel and a mother of two, is absolutely soft-spoken and speaks in fluent Bahasa Malaysia.
The videos, that are usually recorded by Sugu, feel sincere as they cook in their humble kitchen at the estate quarters. Occasionally, they share snippets of life at home with their children.
They also always use regular household ingredients in their recipes so that viewers can easily try them at home too.
Behind the scenes, Pavithra shared in an interview with Bernama that she would occasionally prop her phone on a cup to record her videos when her husband is not around. She added that she will also edit the videos after her children have gone to sleep.
The couple shared that they began uploading cooking videos after a suggestion from a friend who was also a YouTuber
Pavithra said she gave it a shot by starting with a grilled tilapia recipe as her very first video.
"In just four days, I managed to get 5,000 subscribers on my channel and then I received an e-mail from YouTube to become its partner," Pavithra told Bernama.
They have shared many more simple Malaysian recipes since then such as stir-fried eggplant with shrimp paste, stir-fried water spinach, and even kuih ketayap.
When asked why did she choose Bahasa Malaysia as the language medium in her videos, as many fans encouraged her to speak Tamil, she said, "I can speak in Bahasa Malaysia fluently so why can't I use it for my videos? If I speak in Tamil, not everyone will understand."
"By using Bahasa Malaysia, many Malaysians can watch and understand."
Their YouTube journey has only just begun as the couple just recently received their first paycheck from sufficient ad revenue
Pavithra and Sugu said they never thought that people would watch their videos, let alone subscribe to the channel.
"The most interesting and motivating part is when many viewers left positive comments and asked us to continue doing this. Some of them also requested Indian recipes, which is really exciting," Pavithra said.
Armed with only a wok, one spatula, two pots, and a rice cooker in her kitchen, she said the response has been their motivation to create more interesting content.
Pavithra was also thrilled to learn that a number of celebrities have followed their channel and uploaded their own cooking inspired by their recipes
Among them were local bodybuilder Sazali Samad and Japanese YouTuber IChang RM.
However, the couple said they were far from becoming celebrities themselves.
They said that they are still experimenting with recipes and hope more people will like the videos that they upload.
The love and support from Malaysians ring clear in the comments section of their videos
A YouTube user said, "Oh my gosh, she is so authentic. She reminds me of when I was younger, my mother cooks with the same pot and crockery she uses. She makes me miss my childhood!"
While this user said, "Keep it up during the lockdown. This is what we need, the positive sharing of food. Your cooking makes me miss Malaysia. Please don't give up as a home cook! The whole of Malaysia supports you."
Meanwhile, this Twitter user is showing his support by not skipping any ads on her videos.
"Puan deserves every single sen from the YouTube ads on her videos. Her content cheers people up. We need to keep streaming!" he said.