Achar is pickled vegetables eaten as side dish. This nutty and piquant side dish is very popular here, and goes very well with nasi lemak and even Hainanese chicken rice. It is sweet, sourish and mildly spicy, and is very appetizing to eat. It makes an excellent complement to fried dishes like chicken wings.
The good thing about making achar is you decide what you want to put in it. Although I know I have a dependable recipe to follow, I added more of the vegetables which I like especially cucumbers and pineapples. I also added a tablespoon of my own homemade sambal belachan because I like it spicy.
It is not hard to do nor time consuming, I can see myself making another batch very soon because I have received good feedback from my 'kitchen testers'. Like all home made pickles and chutneys or cookies and jams, achar makes a good gift for any occasions.
Nonya Acar Awak
Adapted from Guai Shu Shu
300g of cucumber, julienned into 1 inch long
150g of carrots, julienned into 1 inch long
150g of long beans, cut into 1 cum long
150g of pineapples, cut into small pieces
150g of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
50g of cabbage, cut into small pieces
Rempah (spice mix)
6 cloves garlic
4 bird eye chilli or 2 big chilli
1 inch ginger
5 candlenut, optional
1 tablespoons of dry prawns, soaked
1.5inch of fresh tumeric or 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 stalk lemon grass (optional)
1 inch galangal (optional)
1 tablespoon of homemade sambal belachan
1/4 cup of vegetable oils
1/2 cups of white sugar
1 cup of vinegar
1/4 cups sesame seeds
1/2 cups of coarsely ground peanuts
salt to taste
Additional sugar,salt and vinegar for blanching liquid.
- Cut the cucumber in about 1 inch long and throw away the centre of the cucumber. Dust about 1 tsp of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar on the julienne cucumber. Toss until evenly coated. Put under the sun for sun dry or in the fridge to air dry for at least one hour. After one hour, you will witness lots of cucumber juices secreted. Squeeze dry the cucumber and set aside. You can either put the cucumber in a muslin cloth and squeeze or use hand to squeeze manually.
- In a pot with some water, add about 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoon of sugar and bring to boil. Add in the cabbage, long bean, cauliflower and carrot sticks. Blanch the vegetables until soft which took about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a blender, put all the rempah ingredients and some water adequate to cover the ingredients. Blend until fine.
- In a wok, put 2-3 tablespoons of oil, put the blended spice mix, use medium heat to stir fry until the colour of the spice mix darkens and oils start to separate from the rempah. Add 1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of sugar, salt to taste. Bring to boil. Once boiled, off the heat.
- Add the pineapples, marinated cucumber, blanched vegetables followed by sesame seeds and ground peanuts. Stir until well mixed. However, it is advisable to let it soak for at least one-two hours before serving. If time permits, soaking overnight will yield a more flavourful Acar Awak. Best served as a side dish or appetiser in a Nonya meal.
Note: You can add more or less of the vegetables, and other ingredients. The taste is entirely up to one's preference.
A Tribute to MM Lee
Our founding father, our minister mentor
The nation weeps, your legacy is for keeps
Thank you Sir, the race was won!
Farewell Sir, your labour is done!
Rest in peace Sir, your era is not gone!
Nor this nation you have built will be drawn
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enable him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21