This spicy pickled vegetables is a great side dish especially when eaten with plain white rice. Also a great accompaniment for Nasi Lemak.
I looked eagerly at the beautiful and colourful vegetables that was on my plate of 'nasi lemak'. I had never came across such a dish before. Upon enquiring out of curiosity, I found out that it was some pickled vegetables known as 'acar'. As I have never tasted it before, I hesitated but was encouraged to give it a try. The moment I did, I knew there was no turning back. The pickled vegetables were so crunchy, slightly sourish, sweet and spicy at the same time. The explosive mix of flavours tantalizes and teases the tastebuds. It was incredibly appetizing! The only setback was the vegetables were cold and I love piping hot meals. I was advised to have the 'acar' with a spoonful of steamed white rice. Hence, I got my first taste of having a combination of hot and cold food at the same time. From that moment onwards, I became a fan. Since rice does not have much taste to it, the 'acar' definitely is a good accompaniment. The warmth of the steamed white rice coupled with the coldness of the chilled 'acar' makes every mouthful a delight. The appetizing 'acar awak' is ready to be served right after cooking. Pineapple or even brinjal can be added too, if you prefer. The pineapple adds a fruity and tangy node to the dish. If you cook a big batch, store them in a clean and dry airtight container. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one month.
- 3 chilli peppers (fresh)
- 4 chilli peppers (dried)
- 4 shallots
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 centimeters turmeric (fresh)
- 1 candlenuts
- 3 centimeters galangal
- 5 grams shrimp paste (dried)
- 1 teaspoons tamarind paste
- 1 lemon grass stalks
- 60 grams french beans
- 80 grams cauliflower
- 180 grams carrots
- 180 grams cucumbers
- 90 grams white cabbage
- sesame seeds
- 30 grams peanuts
- 3 teaspoons vinegar
Steps to Prepare
- Mix carrots and cucumber pieces with 2 tsp of salt. Store in the refrigerator.
- Blend chilies, shallots, shrimp paste (belacan), galangal, garlic and lemon grass until smooth.
- Boil a pot of water with 2 tsp of vinegar. Blanch cabbage and french beans. Remove once they are slightly wilted.
- Preheat oven at 50 degrees Celcius.
- Dry carrots, cucumbers, cabbage and french beans with paper towel. Optional: Add pineapples.
- Place all vegetables on a tray/baking pan and heat in the oven for 40 minutes.
- Cook chilli paste with 2-3 tbsp of oil until fragrant/changes colour into a darker shade of red.
- Add 200 ml of water to the chilli paste along with the tamarind paste. Cook at medium heat.
- Once the paste begins to boil, lower the heat and add shrimp paste, sugar and vinegar.
- Mix well before adding the crushed peanuts. Remove the pan of vegetables from the oven and add them into the pan of chilli paste.
- Serve or store it in a clean and dry bottle. If kept refrigerated, it can last up to one month.