Acar Timun Dan Lobak

Cucumber and Carrot Pickle

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In Malaysia, pickled vegetables are known as acar. Besides vegetable acar, there is also a wide range of fruit acar. Each state and culture in Malaysia has their own versions of acar and every single one of them is delicious! Acar can be made ahead and stored in airtight jars for weeks. There are also some types of acar that can be made and consumed on the same day. This particular acar goes well with nasi minyak and kari ayam.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 stalk curry leaves, stem discarded
  • 2 Tbsp dried chilli paste
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 1 green chilli, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cucumbers, cored and cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and cut into thin rounds
  • 1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds (optional)

Spice Paste

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 5-cm (2-inch) ginger, peeled

Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • Salt, to taste

Method

  • Pound the ingredients for the spice paste coarsely using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  • Melt the ghee in a wok over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Cover with a lid and let the mustard seeds splutter.
  • Add the spice paste and fry until fragrant and starting to brown. Add the dried chilli paste and cook for at least 10 minutes over low heat, until the oil separates. Add water, a little at a time, if the paste becomes too dry.
  • Add the ingredients for the sauce and stir to mix. Let it simmer until the sauce is thick and sticky.
  • Add the carrot and green chilli and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cucumbers and onion and turn the heat off, letting the cucumber and onion soften in the residual heat of the sauce.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. The sauce should be sweet and sour with a hint of chilli.
  • Transfer to a clean bowl and sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds, if desired. Serve as a side dish.

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