Achar Recipe (Nonya Spicy Mixed Vegetables)
Achar or achar is a hot favourite among asians. In the olden days, people make it when they wanted a way to preserve foods for a longer period and at the same time being able to use them as accompaniments to compliment the main course. But now we eat it because it tastes so good!
I got a huge organic cucumber from Uncle Martin and I was wondering what can I do with it. When I got home and saw my relatives from China, I suddenly remembered that they love to eat achar! So I decided to do it!
This is the first time I make achar. I thought it was pretty simple. I just have to mix all the vegetables together and let them soak in the flavours of all the spices and I am done. Sounds really simple but wahbiang! The preparation took me a long time!
First I try to cut all the vegetables which was soooooooooooooo tedious! I have to think how I want my carrots to look. Long thin stripes or big pieces? Plus I bought organic carrots which are much smaller, so it makes the job harder. Then I have to slice the cucumber. Do I slice it lengthwise or width wise? How long do I have to cut it? Then to cabbage… and lastly to pineapple which is the easiest. Heng I didn’t get the whole pineapple fruit, because I don’t really eat pineapple and I don’t know how to cut it.
After finishing cutting all the vegetables and setting them aside to dry excess liquid, I continue to cut my spices. First I cut the red chillies which is the easiest. Then I cut the shallots and garlic and I start crying LOL. Not my first time in the kitchen but I thought I was tough enough to be able to cut shallots without placing them under running tap. So I was wrong. Then I blend them together while I was still crying. LOL.
In summary, I CUT ALL THE INGREDIENTS MYSELF. Without any help. A round of applause please. lolol
So hor this achar is really made with my sweat and tears! HAHA! Plus I bought organic carrots, organic cabbage and together with Uncle Martin’s organic cucumber, which makes this a super expensive ORGANIC ACHAR! And the taste is good lah! When I retire next time, maybe I can make some achar and sell it. I think I will sell it at $5 lor, so much work! So before I decided to sell my achar, please go and try the recipe! You probably need a salad maker if you don’t wish to do the cutting!
- 300g Cucumber – cut lengthwise 1½ inch
- 150g Cabbage – roughly cut into big pieces
- 50g Carrot – peeled and cut into 1½ inch
- 4 slices of pineapple – cut into 1½ inch
- 50g Roasted Peanuts – ground
- 2 tablespoon White Sesame Seeds – roasted
- 1 tablespoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Sugar, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons Cooking Oil
- 50ml Rice vinegar
- 5 Shallots
- 6 fresh Red Chilies
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 Candlenuts
- 30ml Water
- Mix all the vegetables with 1 tbs salt. Leave aside in a colander to dry excess liquid for about 30 minutes to get the crunchiness. If you prefer your vegetables to have softer bite, you can skip this step.
- Blend the spice paste in a food processor.
- Heat up the wok on medium heat. Add oil to stir-fry the spice paste until aromatic. Add vinegar and water, bring to boil. Add salt and sugar to taste.
- Turn off fire, add all vegetables, ground peanuts, sesame seeds into the wok and stir well.
- Dish out, let it cool to store in a jar or container. Keep chilled in the fridge. Achar taste best overnight after the flavours have developed. It can last for about 4 weeks.
I share my hard work with some of my friends! 😀