Acar Recipe (Indonesian Pickle)

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AtjarAcar (pronounce: aa-char) is the Indonesian word for pickle or the Dutch writes it atjar (an Indonesian old spelling). I believe the name of acar was influenced by the Indian traders who came to Indonesia long time ago. In Hindi, Urdu and Bengali, pickle is known as achār.

Acar is commonly served as a condiment to be eaten with a main course. What kind of food that we serve with acar? Any kinds of noodles, fried rice, sate (satay), and most of fritter forms such as martabak (stuffed pancake), lumpia (spring roll).

Check other posts that I enjoy with acar:

Indonesian acar can be added with cucumber, carrot, mango, chili, shallot and/or pineapple; then dress with vinegar, sugar and salt. Some households add lemongrass or ginger to spice it up.

– Indonesian Pickle –

cucumber, rinsed off and cut as desired; you can peel off the skin if you like
shallot, peel and cut as desired
bird eyes/paddy chilies
white vinegar with 4.5% acidity ( I personally prefer use canesugar or nypa sap vinegar which is naturally fermented)

You can also add pineapple, carrot and/or mango

In a plastic/glass container, add cucumber, shallot and chilies. Sprinkle sugar and salt. Cover the lid, shake the container (don’t shake too hard) and leave it for 5 minutes. Then, open up the lid and add vinegar. Tight the lid back and store it the fridge. Some people like adding hot water. I don’t like adding any water.

So, your acar should be slightly sweet and sour.  However, some people like chopping the chilies as well and it will bring the acar slightly sweet, sour and hot.  If you like sweeter taste, you are welcome to add more sugar.

December 8, 2010 Update: This post was featured on December 8th FoodBuzz Top 9

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About the Author

An Indonesian-born who lived in Winnipeg Edmonton, Canada for more than a decade prior to move to Edmonton in 2017. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.