Achar – 阿渣

Achar, as some of us locals may know, derived from the Nonya method of preserving food for longevity to eat as sides together with main dishes. But as the saying goes – “so good you can eat it on its own”, we think this sweet, sour, and spicy (all at the same time!) recipe worked out very well for us!

The mandatory ingredients are the key vegetables, but most of the work comes from the preparatory cutting, mixing, and blanching. Once you’ve got all this worked out, getting a really tasty achar treat becomes relatively easy!

Last but not least is that you’ll need to be leaving the completed dish overnight for the taste to seep into the vegetables, so if you’re planning to eat this, make it the day before and you won’t regret it!

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  • Servings: 4

  • Time: 12h

  • Skill: Easy


  1. Achar

  2. 2 cucumbers

  3. 2 carrots

  4. ½ cauliflower

  5. ½ chinese cabbage

  6. 6 long beans

  7. 4 chillies

  8. 1 tbsp salt

  9. Blanching

  10. 1 liter water

  11. 500 ml white vinegar

  12. 2 tbsp sugar

  13. 1 tbsp salt

  14. Chili paste

  15. 120g shallots

  16. 4 cloves garlic

  17. 15g turmeric

  18. 4 candlenuts

  19. 1 stalk lemongrass

  20. 100g fresh chillies

  21. 50g dried chillies (soaked)

  22. 20g belacan

  23. 4 tbsp oil

  24. Vinegar Mix

  25. 150ml white vinegar

  26. 8 tbsp sugar

  27. 1 tbsp salt

  28. Side

  29. 50g fried shallots

  30. 250g ground peanuts

  31. 40g toasted white sesame seed


  1. Cut 2 cucumbers and 2 carrots into 5cm strips

  2. Add 1 tbsp salt, toss and leave it for an hour

  3. Cut 1/2 chinese cabbage into 2 inch squares

  4. Cut 1/2 cauliflower into small chunks

  5. Deseed and slice 4 chillies

  6. Add a litre of water, 500ml white vinegar, 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp salt to pot

  7. Strain carrots and cucumber with a cloth

  8. Blanch cauliflower, chinese cabbage and long beans for 30 secs each

  9. Pat dry vegetables

  10. Add 120g shallots, 4 cloves garlic, 15g tumeric and 4 candlenuts to food processor

  11. Slice and add 1 stalk lemongrass, 100g fresh chillies, 50g soaked dried chillies, 20g belacan and blend into a fine paste

  12. Mix 150ml white vinegar, with 1 tbsp salt, 8 tbsp sugar

  13. Add 4 tbsp oil to pan and stir fry chili paste till fragrant, then add vinegar mixture

  14. Put all vegetables in a large bowl, then add the chili mixture, 250g ground peaunts , 50g fried shallots and 40g toasted white sesame seeds

  15. Transfer to container and refrigerate overnight