This easy achar recipe with Indonesian flavours, makes the best spicy mixed vegetable pickle you have ever tasted. Marinated in a fragrant, sweet, sour, and spicy sauce, the vegetables are crisp and crunchy to eat. With the addition of crushed peanuts and toasted sesame seeds, you experience an explosion of flavour with every bite you take.
How To Make This Recipe
Cut the cucumber in half, remove the seeds, cut into 2.5 cm strips. Rub cucumber with salt and sugar, marinate for one hour. Place in a muslin cloth and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.
Cut the carrots into thin strips 2.5 cm long. Cut the beans 2 cm long. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into small florets. Cut cabbage into small pieces. Lightly blanch the vegetables in the blanching liquid.
Make the pickling liquid and allow to cool. Add vegetables to the cooled pickling liquid and mix well. Bottle in clean glass jars and store in fridge.
Step by Step
There are three basic steps to making this homemade achar recipe. The first is selecting and preparing the vegetables, next is making the spicy and slightly sweet pickling liquid and lastly combining the two.
Love this easy achar recipe and looking for more simple vegetable recipes to enjoy for dinner? Try one of these?
Tomato Cucumber Onion Feta Salad- This refreshing tomato cucumber onion feta salad is tossed in a light lemony, garlic and fresh herb dressing. It is so simple and easy to make, perfect for those hot days in summer (or any other day) when you don’t want to cook.
Roast Pumpkin Chickpea and Feta Salad - This satisfying roast pumpkin, chickpea, feta salad is drizzled with a mild and tangy rice vinegar dressing. Wonderful as a delectable side dish or as a simple and hearty meal.
1. Achar Vegetables
For this achar pickle we like to use a combination of cucumber, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and will on occasion add in slices of green apple. However, if you dislike any of these feel free to leave them out and add more of the vegetables that you like.
Preparing the Vegetables
Make sure that all the vegetables are washed thoroughly to remove any dirt and sand.
Cut the beans into 2 cm long piece, peel the carrots and cut into thin 2.5 cm batons. Cut the cauliflower and broccoli into small florets and slice the cabbage into small pieces. Keeping each vegetable group separate ready for a quick blanching.
It’s important not to over cook the vegetables when blanching, over cooking will make them soft and limp. The cabbage should not be blanched for more that 2-3 seconds and the other vegetables no longer that 10 seconds.
The cucumber does not require blanching or peeling, just slice in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discarded, then cut into 2.5 cm pieces similar to the carrot.
A combination of salt and sugar is then rubbed into the cucumber pieces, which is then left to marinate for about one hour. During this time, juices will be extracted from the cucumber. The cucumber is then squeezed to remove the excess liquid, this can be done by using your hands or wrapping in a muslin cloth or clean tea towel. The end result is a cucumber with a nice crunch.
2. Achar Pickling Liquid
The aromatic pickling liquid is made by frying a spice paste made from onions, garlic, chilli, candlenuts, ginger, dried prawns, shrimp paste, turmeric, lemongrass, and galangal, until it becomes dark and fragrant. Vinegar, sugar and salt is then mixed into the cooked paste to make the pickling liquid.
3. Making and Storing The Achar
While the pickling liquid is still warm, add the blanched vegetables, cucumber, sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, mixing well. Let the vegetables soak in the liquid for about 1 – 2 hours at room temperature, stirring now and again, then place in clean glass jars and store in the fridge.
This pickle can be eaten the same day as it is made, but will taste better as it ages.
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Easy Vegetable Achar (Pickle)
- 400 grams cucumber
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 200 grams carrots
- 150 grams beans
- 200 grams cauliflower
- 200 grams broccoli
- 200 grams cabbage
- 600 ml water
- 350 ml white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
PICKLING LIQUID Group 1 - Spice Mix (Blend)
- 1 large red onion roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves
- 4 red chillies 2 large red chillies plus 2 small red chillies
- 6 candlenuts
- 2.5 cm ginger - peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried prawns - soaked in warm water to soften and drained
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder or 4cm piece of fresh or frozen turmeric root
- 1 stalk lemon grass bottom white section, finely sliced
- 2.5 cm galangal fresh or frozen
PICKLING LIQUID Group 2 - Additional Ingredients
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup white sesame seeds - toasted
- ½ cup peanuts - coarsely ground or chopped
- 2 ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- PREPARING THE VEGETABLES- Cut cucumber lengthwise without peeling and remove the seeds. Cut it into 2.5 cm long strips. Knead 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar into the cucumber slices and set aside to marinate for 1 hour. The cucumber will secrete some juice. Wrap the cucumber slices in a clean towel or muslin cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as you can or use hand to squeeze manually. This will give the cucumber a nice crunch.- Peel and cut the carrots into thin strips 2.5 cm long.- Cut the beans into 2 cm long.- Cut the cauliflower and broccoli into small florets.- Wash and cut the cabbage into small pieces - use your hands to peel off any damaged outer leaves from the head of the cabbage. Gently rinse each leaf of the cabbage under cool running water. You do not need to scrub the leaves when cleaning them. Drain dry on clean paper towels.
- BLANCH THE VEGETABLES- In a medium size saucepan, combine 600 ml water, 350 ml white vinegar, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons sugar and bring to a rapid boil. Blanch the vegetables one at a time.- Blanch the cabbage for 2-3 seconds, and 10 seconds for the rest of the vegetables (carrots, beans, cauliflower and broccoli). Do not overcook the vegetables, or they will lose their crunchiness. Drain the vegetables and set them aside.
- MAKE THE PICKLING LIQUID- Combine all the ingredients from “group 1” into a blender and grind to a paste.- In a wok heat 3 tablespoons of oil, and fry the spice paste on medium heat. Stir fry the mixture for a few minutes until the colour of the spice mix darkens and oil starts to separate from the spice paste.- Add 1 cup vinegar, ½ cup sugar. Bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat, and set aside and allow to cool slightly.
- MAKING THE PICKLE- Add in the marinated cucumber, blanched vegetables followed by the sesame seeds, ground peanuts and salt to taste. Stir until well mixed. Allow to come to room temperature then place in clean glass jars and store in the fridge.
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Jason Bransanon says
You can't really call this an Achar if it contains seafood, more of a Korean-style pickle. Achar is always Vegetarian.
This recipe is simple to follow, and it tastes delicious!
Harriet Britto says
Anne, I'm so glad you enjoyed the achar.