Acar is my favourite, and this is my 1st attempt to make Acar. Acar is a type of vegetable pickle/salad popular in Malaysia too. Made from different vegetables like cucumbers, long beans, carrots, cabbage and is pickled with spicy paste and vinegar. Ground peanuts and sesame seeds are also added to this dish. Acar is commonly served as a condiment to be eaten with a main course. This is a great vegetarian dish too.
My creation on ingredients I have in hand. (Left over ingredients from otak otak recipe)
1 cucumber - (removed the seeds) and cut into 4cm strips
150g cabbage leaves, tear into large pieces
2 carrots cut into 4cm strips
150g long beans, cut into 4cm strips
200g pineapples. cut into 4cm strip
To make into paste:
6-8 fresh chillies
8 dried chillies –soak in hot water until soft
4 cloves garlic
2 cm X3 fresh turmeric root/3 tbsp ground turmeric
1” galangal (lengkuas)
3 candlenuts (buah keras) - Optional
3 stalk lemon grass, sliced finely
1” of shrimp paste (belachan) - optional
1 cup of white vinegar
1 cup water
6 tbsp. sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
1 tsp salt
200g roasted peanuts, skinned and pounded
5 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
For blanching the vegetables:
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1. All the vegetables need to be cut into single manageable pieces.2. Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar for blanching vegetables to a rapid boil. Blanch the vegetables (except pineapples) one type at a time for 1 minute. Remove, draining thoroughly and dry them on a clean kitchen towel, squeezed the water out of the vegetable (or you may dry under the sun for 2-3 hours to dry) and set it aside.
3. Roughly crush the peanuts and set aside.
4. Dry roast the sesame seeds in pan, cool and set aside.5. Prepare the spice paste by blend/pounding the spices. Then dry fry until fragrant. Add the vinegar, sugar (be careful, will turn dark if over cook the sugar) and salt, then leave to cool completely. Check seasoning as you might need to add more sugar to it.
4. Stir in all the prepared vegetables and pineapple. Allow to cool and store in a clean jar and refrigerate.. Add peanuts and sprinkle on the sesame seeds just before serving.