April 1, 2010

Pickled Vegetables/Acar Awak

Acar Awak is a classic Peranakan (Nyonya) pickled vegetable relish accompaniment commonly served on the dinner table. It is spicy with a sweet and sour taste and the flavor intensified overtime. This dish is perfect with curries and yellow glutinous rice and it keeps well in the refrigerator. I usually make enough to give away as gifts.
½ lb french beans or Chinese long beans
3 carrots, peeled
2 daikons, peeled
2 cucumbers (discard center)
2 fresh red chillies, remove seeds
½ cup peanuts, fried and ground in smaller pieces
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. tumeric powder
½ cup sugar (adjust to taste)
salt to taste
3 Tbsp. oil
Chilli Paste (pound finely):
4 chillies
1 tsp. curry powder
2 inch fresh tumeric (or 1 tsp. tumeric powder)
5 pips garlic, peeled
1. Cut all vegetables into 2" lengths, keep them in separate containers. Slice fresh chilles in fine strips for garnishing.
2. In a big pot or deep pan add enough water to cook vegetables. Add half of the vinegar, tumeric powder, salt to the water. Bring to a fast boil. Blanch and drain the vegetables for about 5-8 minutes in this order: daikons, carrots, french beans, and lastly cucumbers. Drain and remove excess water from vegetables.
3. In a clean pan, add oil and fry grounded spices over medium heat till fragrant and oil exudes from chilli mixture. Add in all the vegetables and red chillies and mix in well.
4.Season to taste with sugar and vinegar. Stir in the grounded peanuts and sesame seeds and remove from heat. Serve hot or cold, when cool store in sterilized jars and keep in the refrigerator.

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