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Penang Achar

Penang achar is a special recipe. This vegetable dish is such a must have in any special occasion in Penang. It is also another type of pickle or achar (also spelled acar) that you have to cook. As with most spicy dish, Penang achar tastes better when the pickle is left overnight to allow all spice ingredients to mingle. You can actually keep it up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Penang Achar
Delicious, healthy Penang Achar

Penang Achar can also be found at many rice vendors, even those who sell by the road side. You may be lucky to get it for breakfast too from the hawkers who sell nasi campur as well. I love it very much.

Here is the recipe to make Penang Achar:

Rempah ingredient (spice ingredients):

  • 20 dried chillies (soaked in hot water for 10 mins)
  • 2 knobs fresh turmeric (peeled) OR 3 tbs turmeric powder
Vegetable ingredients:
  • 2.4kg cucumber (deseeded and cinto 2.5 cm strips)
  • 280ml vinegar
  • 160g french beans (cut into 2.5cm strips)
  • 160g cabbage, cut into 2.5 cm strips
  • 600g carrot, cut into 2.5 cm strips
  • 600g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 180ml oil
  • 160g white sesame seed
  • 300g garlic, pounded and squeezed dry
  • 1.5 tbs salt
  • 10 fresh red chillies, cut lengthwise and deseeded
  • 300g peanuts, roasted and ground
  • 150g sugar
  • Prepare rempah - drain the dried chillies and processed smoothly with turmeric.
  • Mix cucumber with 1 tbs salt. Leave aside in a colander to dry excess liquid
  • Bring vinegar to a boil. Blanch vegetables separately, 5-8 minutes.
  • Drain vegetables, lay on a tray to cool and dry.
  • Heat wok, stir fry dry sesame seed till golden brown. Careful not to burn them. Allow to cool then pound to a paste.
  • Add oil in the wok, stir fry garlic till brown, set aside.
  • Using the same oil, saute the rempah mix till fragrance.
  • Turn off fire and add salt.
  • In a large bowl, combine all vegetables, fried garlic, rempah paste, sesame seed, peanuts and sugar.
  • Cover and leave overnight in room temprature to let the flavour to infuse.
  • Store in a jar or Tupperware container in the fridge. It can last for at least 4 weeks.

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