Figure 1 Publishing

Food + Drink

My Thali

A Simple Indian Kitchen

Joe Thottungal with Anne DesBrisay

The Coconut Lagoon chef brings the vibrant everyday flavours of South India to home kitchens.

Awarded the 2023  Gourmand World Cookbook Award in the India Category

Shortlisted for a 2024 Taste Canada Award

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As an Indian chef, the tradition of thali dominates my life. It is the way I eat at home, it is the way I celebrate life’s big events, and it is the style of cooking we offer at my second Ottawa restaurant, Thali.

—Joe Thottungal, Introduction

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Book Description

Like a tagine or casserole, a thali describes not only a type of kitchenware, but a type of meal. A thali is constructed of many small dishes served on a platter that harmonize through contrasting textures, visual appeal, complimentary spices, and sheer deliciousness. Once reserved for special occasions, this traditional way of eating is now a popular way of dining at home.

In My Thali, award-winning chef and author Joe Thottungal shares his favorite home-cooked recipes and stories from his homeland of Kerala, connecting past and present in the world of Indian cooking today. This exploration of food heritage features a collection of 85 signature recipes—from simple raitas to nourishing dals and fragrant curries—that can be easily re-created at home, using accessible ingredients and everyday cooking equipment, and without any compromise to flavor or authenticity. Each recipe can be enjoyed on its own or joined together to compose a complete and balanced meal; suggested menus are included for constructing these “feasts on a plate.”

My Thali celebrates the South Indian cooking and the joys of thalis, both simple and homey, and grand and glorious.



“Thottungal infuses each recipe with a heartfelt narrative that instantly transports readers to his family kitchen and the bustling streets of India.”
Canadian Cookbooks

“A great go-to for almost any occasion.”
Eat North

My Thali is a gorgeous collection of South Indian cooking . . . ”
VITA Daily

Edible Ottawa

The Morning Show

CTV Ottawa Morning

CTV Ottawa Morning Live

CTV News Ottawa Part 1

CTV News Ottawa Part 2

Daytime Ottawa

“Joe Thottungal’s My Thali transports the reader through an adventure for the senses. This book is a journey. The stunning photographs and collected recipes immerse readers in the fragrances and the tastes that these recipes represent.”

Apt 613

Loan Stars Canadian Top 10 List

My Thali: Ottawa Chef Joe Thottungal’s meals of many parts”

The National Post

“Cook This: Three recipes from My Thali” 

The National Post

“Author, restaurateur, and Malayi Chef Joe Thottungal is putting Indian thalis on the world food map”

South First

“Jeera Rice — or how to transform day-old, plain basmati into a flavourful new dish”

CBC Life

Joe Thottungal’s Fried Tilapia: Flavour-packed fish with a marinade too good to waste

CBC Life

Chef Joe Thottungal’s pork vindaloo is inspirational

Montreal Gazette


Breakfast Television

Cool Food Dude

“A beautiful book”

“Chef Joe embodies the incredible diversity of Canada and its cuisine, which includes food traditions from every corner of the world”
Arab News

“Chef Joe emphasizes balancing flavors and textures, while ensuring colorfulness and nutritional quality.”
International Examiner

Upcoming Events

Chef Joe Thottungal Indian cooking demonstration
May 30, 2023
7:00PM – 8:00PM
Virtual Event 

A Conversation with Chef Joe Thottungal and Anne DesBrisay
June 22, 2023
5:00PM – 6:00PM
Perfect Books
258A Elgin St. Ottawa

Cooking Class & Book Signing
September 11, 2023
The Mess Hall Collective
1125 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON

Cooking Class & Book Signing
September 12, 2023
Le Dolci Culinary Studio
12 Sousa Mendes St, Toronto, ON

Collaborative Dinner & Book Signing
September 13, 2023
The University Club
380 University Ave, Toronto, ON

Collaborative Dinner & Book Signing
October 19, 2023
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
1301 16 Ave NW, Calgary, AB


“Joe Thottungal is one of my greatest philanthropic culinary heroes.”
–Margaret Dickenson, award-winning cookbook author

“Chef Joe remains a symbol of compassion and generosity in our community.”
–Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

“[Joe] has always been making dynamite South Indian food: it just took some of us awhile to catch up.”
–Paul Wells, Maclean’s Magazine


  • Hardcover
  • 8 × 9.5 inches
  • 192 pages
  • 978-1-77327-195-8
  • $38.95 CDN / $32.95 USD
  • March 2023