Books·Canadian

Coconut Lagoon

A cookbook by Joe Thottungal.

Joe Thottungal

With its tranquil beaches, lush mountains, and incredibly delicious cuisine, Kerala, located in southwestern India, is often called paradise on earth. It's a place where traditional dishes are born of a unique geography and enhanced with spices such as mustard seeds, curry leaves, and coconut milk. In fact, it's one of India's most exciting culinary regions.

Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal is a collection of 80 easy-to-make recipes designed for home cooks. The cookbook features authentic regional dishes such as mango pickle, dosa, Malabar parathas, biryani, Thrissur-style fish and banana fritters, as well as more widely known Indian recipes that are loved around the world, such as chai, butter chicken and poori. You'll even find traditional vegetarian dishes that are served at the Onam sadya, the annual harvest festival.

Handy sections on ingredients and equipment as well as basic how-tos teach home cooks how to navigate the cuisine with confidence. Moreover, the book offers a list of gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian recipes, making it an ideal reference for those with special dietary requirements. Coconut Lagoon is a delicious tribute to family, food, and home, Kerala style. (From Figure 1 Publishing)

From the book

My first experience of my adopted country happened in India. It was a 1998 conversation in Chennai with a Canadian immigration officer. "Cooks like you are needed in Canada," he told me during a long interview to assess my culinary skills. "You'll make it in Canada. You'll have a good life there." I was a twenty-five-year-old south Indian cook from Kerala, looking to take his knife kit... somewhere else. Where, I wasn't sure. I only knew my prospects for rewarding chef work in India were lousy. Maybe Australia, I was thinking: it was closer to home, it was warm... But here was this Canadain guy who seemed to really want me to come to his country and his words were promising. Besides, my parents reminded me, there was that cousin who had an apartment in Toronto. He might put me up.


From Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal ©2019. Published by Figure 1 Publishing.

Interviews with Joe Thottungal

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