Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Simple Recipe for Homemade Achar
I love to eat achar with nasi lemak, or just plain rice.
Part of my plan for simple living is that ultimately when we retire one day, we'd be able make do with as little store bought things as possible. I plan to bake my own bread at home, make my own jam, pickles and basically make things from scratch when I can.
So I thought I had better start practising now.
This homemade achar is not difficult to make. The good thing about making your own achar is that you decide what you want to put in it. I like only 3 things in my achar - cucumber, carrots and pineapple, so I omitted any cauliflower, long beans and other vegetables I didn't like. I forgot that I used up all the pineapples the day before for my Prawns in Pineapple Gravy, so I didn't have that as well.
Here's the recipe:
2 cucumbers - Remove the seed part
2 carrots, peeled
1 red chilli
Half a pineapple (I forgot these)
Any other achar vegetables you like, like cabbage, long beans etc
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup ground peanuts
For the sauce:
2 tsp tumeric powder
1 garlic, finely grated
1 small piece of glangal, finely grated
1 small shallot, finely grated
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup boiled water
2 - 3 tbsp sugar
A good pinch of salt
Chilli paste, to taste (I used a homemade one by my grandmother)
1 tbsp of olive oil
What I did
1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a pot and cook on low heat. After it has simmered for a couple of minutes, turn the fire off and let cool
2. Cut the cucumbers, rub salt all over and set aside for about 30 minutes. Drain away all the liquid and pat dry with a kitchen towel
3. Finely slice the carrots and soak in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain and pat dry with kitchen towel
4. Cut the pineapple into bitesize pieces
5. Cut the red chilli into thin slices and remove the seeds
6. Mix everything together and then taste, adding more vinegar, sugar or salt as required
The achar is good to eat immediately but should taste better after a day or two.