6-year-old Indian chef tastes global fame on Ellen show

This post was originally published on 25 September 2016.

YouTube sensation and young chef Nihal Raj, also known as Kicha, showcased his cookery skills on the popular American chat show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”.

Kicha Ellen Show

Kicha, who hails from Kerala’s Cochin, found fame after starting KichaTube HD channel on the video-sharing site. Till now he has featured in 33 videos. Launched in January last year, the channel now has over 7300 subscribers.

And, by Friday, the six-year-old’s affair with cooking had given him a taste of Hollywood fame as his talent found an international stage on US television host Ellen DeGeneres’s hugely successful eponymous show.

While introducing him on the show, DeGeneres said: “Well, if you have ever wondered why Ellen hasn’t had an adorable six-year-old chef from India, then today is your day. Please welcome Kicha.”

Kerala’s “puttu” goes international

On the show, the young chef showed Ellen how to make ‘puttu’ — a traditional Kerala breakfast of steamed cylinders of ground rice layered with coconut.

Nihal Raj Ellen Show

“I had to make puttu, which I have done before,” says Kicha, who also taught Ellen to pronounce ‘puttukutti’, the vessel in which the dish is steamed.

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After eating the dish, DeGeneres appreciated Kicha and said: “It’s very delicious.”

Nihal seemed to be having a lot of “fun” during his maiden visit to the US as when the host asked him about his experience, he said: “It’s been fun.”

When Facebook acquired the rights for his ‘Mickey Mouse Mango ice-cream’ video for $2,000 (approx. Rs 1.34 lakh), international attention followed.

“It was a huge surprise for us. He is the youngest to sell a video to FB,” says his mother Ruby Rajagopal, a lecturer-turned-home baker.

Soon, Nihal received an invitation from Ellen. The family flew to the US on September 19 for the show, which was aired in the US on Friday.

Nihal had his first moment of fame when his father Rajagopal V Krishnan made a video of him making popsicles and posted it on Facebook. The video received lot of praise which led to having his own Youtube channel.

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