Tummy Tuesday : the Juhu Beach Club Cookbook

Tummy Tuesday : the Juhu Beach Club Cookbook

Tummy Tuesday : the Juhu Beach Club Cookbook

(I hope you’ll join me for this round of Tummy Tuesday. Add your link at the bottom of the post to this week’s Tummy Tuesday blog hop if you’ve got a food-related post or pic.)


The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook: Indian Spice, Oakland Soul
(Affiliate Disclosure: See sidebar.)
Preeti Mistry first came to my attention on Top Chef. She was kicked off Top Chef Las Vegas Season 6 on the third episode in 2009. On the second episode, Chef Tom Colicchio told her she didn’t have the skill to pull off the ahi hors d’oeuvres. The judges’ assessment surprised her because her dish had proven popular at the bachelor’s party with the guys coming back for seconds and thirds. She trusted her own taste but said, “I suffered through several weeks of abject despair. But the old saw really is true: Failure is a ncessary part of success. If you’re not willing to put yourself out there, knowing that could mess up big time, then you’re likely not growing or learning anything as a person and as a professsional. Sometimes you ahve to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to reach your goals.”


A year later, Mistry had an idea of doing Indian food but giving it a twist. She thought a food truck might be the way to go. Instead in 2010, her girlfriend Ann convinced her to create a pop-up restaurant in the “slightly sketchy liquor store across the street.” (video from when Mistry had the pop up in the convenience store)

She writes, “But the first day, before we opened for business, I was totally scared. I felt a lump in my throat. My mom told me to pray. I don’t pray. But the first morning of the pop-up I brought in a small statue of Ganesh and prayed.  A friend’s son gave me a little green plastic toy for good luck. I kept it in my pocket every day back then.

I felt like this was my one chance…

…I was doing something different, flavor profile-wise; it wasn’t your typical Indian food.

People liked the pop-up. They really liked it. I made just three sandwiches at first: a spicy veggie sloppy joe; a grilled green chile chicken with tangy turmeric slaw; and a smoky black cardamon braised short rib with a cucumber raita I served them on Acme torpedo buns. They were both familiar fare and a flavor adventure. I sold samosas I rolled by hand and my kind of lassi: a little sweet, a bit salty, the kind an adult would enjoy.”

People tweeted how they loved the food and within 6 months, people crammed into the liquor store for a bite and she had developed a menu.  An investment partner reached out to start a restaurant in San Francisco but the deal fell through. She and her partner pooled their savings with help from her parents and opened a spot in Oakland, the Juhu Beach Club. Mistry says, “This is my story — failing up and being true to myself– every step of the way. It’s Juhu Beach Club’s story too: Indian spice and Oakland soul.”

The cookbook is interspersed with memories from her walk on Juhu Beach as a child to her opening the restaurant in Oakland, being discovered by Anthony Bourdain and going on to be a James Beard nominee. In her cookbook, she’ll start you with basics like making your own tamarind paste and then leaps to Street Food like the Bombay-style curried egg salad pav. Pav is a small slider bun. A cilantro chutney (lemon, ginger, serrano chiles, cilatro, yogurt and salt) tops a to-die-for Chowpatty chicken pav. It’s a chicken breast marinated in a green chile turmeric marinade for six hours (overnight is best) and then topped with a tangy turmeric slaw and the chutney.  How great does that sound? A lot of work for sliders but yum! (Anthony Bourdais loves the taste too in this clip from his show)

Mistry’s next chapter is Comfort Food, then Masala Mashups, and Oaklandish where she talks about the diversity there, and the general feeling of acceptance including of her and her wife. Then she gives the recipe for the JBC Doswaffle. It’s a gluten-free waffle made from rice and lentils. The dough is naturally fermented like traditional dosa batter.  Later the chapter serves up chai-spiced bacon.

I love reading her cookbook.  Her writing style is conversational, authentic and frank. Her recipes scare me a little later on in the book.  So I would probably start with the Street Food and not the Signature Dishes.  She tells you each chapter is organized within itself from simple to complex and looking through I can see they build upon each other.  I love the pictures too. Best though is I like the message she underlines: sometimes when you fail, a door opens so best jump through. Don’t worry about what the judges say; instead focus on finding and developing your own tastes and style.


You can use the search bar to do an Amazon search as I did with “India fusion cookbook”.

While I am an Amazon affiliate, this has no effect on your price. You pay the same price you would normally. Amazon disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

Roundup of last week’s Tummy Tuesday (5/21/19-5/27/19) :


Ladylee Manila Blog's photo of Scalopped potato roll
Lady Manila: Scalopped potato roll, food photos
Slice of Mexico's photos of Sinaloa Style Chicken – Not Too Crazy
Irene: Sinaloa Style Chicken – Not Too Crazy, recipe
Cactus Catzs photo of ingredients for an omelette
Cactus Catz: Omelette ingredients, food photo


This week’s Tummy Tuesday (5/28/19-6/3/19):

This Tummy Tuesday is closed. Please go to the most recent Tummy to see the latest Tummy Tuesday.


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