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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vegetarian Pickled Vegetables [Acar Awak]

Vegetarian Pickled Vegetables [Acar]
This is a vegetarian Acar [pickled vegetables] without garlic or onions.  For the Nine Emperor Gods Festival [Kew Ong Yeah] whereby devotees observe a strict vegetarian diet for a duration of 9-10 days, certain vegetables cannot be consumed or use to cook the vegetarian dishes eventhough they are in the vegetables category.  Some of these exceptional vegetables which I know are onions, spring onions, garlic, leeks and kailan. 
However, even without onions added, this dish tastes as good.
Cut vegetables before blanching
Ingredients for the Chilli Paste [combine together]
200 gm chilli paste
100 gm grounded lemongrass
50 gm grounded galangal
50 gm tumeric paste [tumeric powder mix with water]
30 gm grounded candlenuts [buah keras]
Other Ingredients
2 kg cucumber - cut 1 inch length thin strips - season with some salt, set aside
1/2 kg cabbage - break into bite size pieces
1/2 kg carrots - cut 1 inch length thin strips
1/2 kg long beans - cut 1 inch length pieces

200 gm grounded peanuts
3-4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
200 gm sugar
2 tsp salt
150 ml oil
1.5 ml water and 200 ml white vinegar - for blanching vegetables

Frying sesame seeds till golden brown
Blanching vegetables in boiling water and vinegar
Blanched vegetables and chilli paste
  1. Season cut cucumber with some salt and set aside for15-20 minutes. Place seasoned cucumber in a muslin bag and squeeze out the water.  Do this in several batches.  Drier cucumber will make it crunchy when cooked.
  2. Bring 1.5 litres water to boil in a wok then add in 200 ml vinegar.  Blanched each of the cut vegetables for about a minute and remove using  a serrated ladle into a basin. [Usually, I will blanch the cucumber first, followed by carrot/long beans and cabbage].  Do not overcook the vegetables.  Discard the water after all the vegetables are blanched.
  3. Heat up oil in the wok to saute the chilli paste till aromatic and oil separates.  Add in half portion of sugar and salt.  Fry to combine then add in all the blanched vegetables.  Stir to combine the chilli paste and vegetables. Then add in the cut chillies, balance sugar and salt.  Taste to adjust seasoning [need not be too sweet, sour or salty as it tastes better after 1-2 days].
  4. Bring it to a boil, lower heat then add grounded peanuts and sesame seeds [keep a little as garnish].  Mix well and off fire.  Leave to cool before storing in containers.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds when serving.  Keep well for 2 weeks or more in refrigerator.  Bring out and leave it to  room temperature before serving with white rice.
Acar before adding grounded peanuts
Achar ready for storing 

  • If cooking less, just adjust the quantity of the ingredients proportionately.  
  • Acar tastes better after several hours or even after several days.


Veronica Ng said...

Kimmy thanks for sharing your delicious acar. I am thinking of making acar to serve for two occasions over a period of 6 days. Do you think that the acar will still taste as good after 1 week?

Kimmy said...

Hi Veronica, from past experience, I have kept it for over a month in airtight glass container. It stays good and tasty. Not advisable to add pineapples if storing for long time.

Anonymous said...

Is the 1.5 ml of water needed to be added when frying the chillies?

Kimmy said...

Hi Shirlynn, the 1.5L water and vinegar is used to blanch the vegetables [Step 2]. Drain the blanched vegetables in a colander. Discard the water, no water is added when you cook the acar.

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