“Achar” means pickle in the Malay language. Since, in Asia we are mostly rice eaters, pickles are an important condiment. There are two kinds of pickles – the sweet and the salty. This Cucumber and Pineapple Achar is sweet, salty and spicy hot. The recipe that I am sharing with you here is very basic. However, you can add other ingredients like cauliflower, cabbage, long beans and red chillies if you want too. Adjust the seasoning if you plan to add more vegetables. Do not eat the achar immediately after you have made it. Leave it aside for about 4 hours at least to let the flavour intensify and soak through the vegetables. You can store it for up to about 1 week in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator. Do not store in plastic or metal containers.
500 g cucumber, halved and seeded
200 g carrot
1 tablespoon salt
500 g slightly under-ripe pineapple
2 cm ginger, julienned
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
250 ml rice vinegar
100 ml water
60 g sugar
1 teaspoon salt
80 g roasted peanuts, pounded
20 g white sesame seeds, dry roasted and pounded coarsely
- Cut cucumber and carrot into thin 5 cm X 1 cm thick pieces.
- Rub one tablespoon salt on the cucumber and carrot and leave aside for about 20 minutes to “sweat” it.
- Rinse in tap water, squeeze off excess water and lay the cucumber and carrot pieces on a tray and leave to dry in the sun for about 4 hours. Dry the ginger and garlic slices too. This stage makes the vegetables crunchy.
- Dice or cube the pineapple.
- Put vinegar, water, sugar, salt, turmeric and chilli powder into a pan (no aluminum pan please) and bring to boil. Turn off heat and allow it to cool.
- Put in the vegetables, pineapple and the rest of the ingredients and leave aside for 6 hours before serving.