Achar is an Indian and Southeast Asian relishlike dish often made with fruit. This one contrasts the cooling succulence of fresh pineapple with the fiery bite of chiles. There is one ingredient that may take you by surprise here: fish sauce. Yet, throughout Southeast Asia this briny condiment is paired with fruit. You’ll be amazed how the salt in the fish sauce brings out the sweetness of the pineapple. And how the acidity in the fruit eliminates the fishy flavor of the fish sauce. So try it even if you have misgivings. I promise you’ll be delighted. This recipe was inspired by an achar I tasted at a food stall in the Arab market in Singapore.
Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar in an attractive bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the pineapple and Asian chiles. Taste for seasoning, adding more fish sauce, lime juice, and/or sugar as necessary; the achar should be sweet, fruity, tart, and a little salty. Serve at once.
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