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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vegetarian Mixed Vegetable Pickle [Achar Awak] - 2014

This mixed vegetable pickle popularly known as 'Achar' are found in most economy rice stalls or at the stall at the wet market selling cooked food. However, theirs are usually with shallots in the curry paste. For religious purpose like Nine Emperor Gods Festival [Kew Ong Yeah in Hokkien],shallots and garlic must not be added. I cooked this annually during this festival for the family and to give some friends who are on strict vegetarian diet like me.

In my previous post on this, I prepared the curry paste from stretch but this time, I bought the ready-mix paste [In Penang, this ready-mix paste is available at most wet markets. You just need to tell the vendor how much vegetables you are cooking and he will prepare the quantity needed].
For this recipe, the total weight of the wet paste is 375 gm.

Cut vegetables before blanching

2 kg cucumber - cut 1 inch length thin strips
700 gm cabbage - break into bite size pieces
300 gm carrots - cut 1 inch length thin strips
300 kg long beans - cut 1 inch length pieces
200 gm grounded peanuts
3-4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
200 gm sugar [I used about 9 tablespoons]
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
150 ml oil
1.5 ml water and 200 ml white vinegar
Frying sesame seeds till golden brown
Blanching vegetables in boiling water and vinegar
  1. Season cut cucumber with some salt and set aside for 15-20 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 water to boil in a wok then add in 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.
  4. 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].
  5. Bring it to a boil, lower heat then add grounded peanuts and sesame seeds [keep a little as garnish]. Mix well and off fire.
  6. 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.
If cooking less, just adjust the quantity of the ingredients proportionately. 
Acar tastes better after several hours or even after several days.  Acar stays good for at least 1/2 a month in the fridge.


Luv Sweet and Savory said...

Hi Kimmy, wow ! I see a big pot of Acar. Yeah it taste better after a few days ... pls keep some for me ^-^!

Ivy Sew said...

Wow Kimmy, this is so appetizing and ho jiak leh.. Love your version and the colour itself is making me lau nuai... slurrppp...... Thanks for sharing and warmest regards :)

Kimmy said...

Hi Karen, not a problem. I shared almost all of them. This brown pot is the only one left for my family.

Kimmy said...

Hi Ivy, just yesterday I was asking my hubby whether it is good. He gave a thumbs up. I told him 'thank God is it yummy' otherwise those who receive my giveaways may not be enjoying it.

Madeline said...

Hi Kimmy , mmmmm I love achar. Wish I live next door to u hahaha. Do u know what goes into the chili paste? I don't know if I can buy the ready made paste in spore.

Kimmy said...

Hi Madeline, please look up my previous postings on Acar Awak. There is a break down of what makes up the chilli paste.

Madeline said...

Thanks Kimmy. Will look up yr recipe for the chili paste.

Phong Hong said...

Wah, Kimmy! I love this achar awak whether it is vegetarian or the non-vegetarian version. Can just scoop and eat as a snack.

Kimmy said...

Hi Phong Hong, this one is without onions and needs more ground peanuts to make them thick. Taste wise not much of a difference.

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