Acar: Spicy Pickled Vegetables

Embark on a flavor-packed exploration of Southeast Asia with Acar, a vibrant and tantalizing dish of spicy pickled vegetables. This beloved condiment, hailing from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, is a symphony of tastes and textures, balancing the tangy, the sweet, the spicy, and the crunchy. Acar is made from an assortment of vegetables like cucumber, carrot, and cabbage, pickled in a vinegar and sugar solution, and spiced with chili and garlic. This vibrant accompaniment is not just a side dish, but a celebration of flavors that can enliven any meal.

Acar: Spicy Pickled Vegetables


  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/4 cabbage
  • 3 red chilies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Steps

  • Cut the vegetables into thin slices or matchstick shape. For the chilies, remove the seeds if you prefer less heat.
  • Blanch the vegetables in boiling water for about 2 minutes, then drain and let them cool.
  • Pound the chilies and garlic into a paste using a mortar and pestle.
  • In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the chili and garlic paste into the vinegar mixture and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the pickling solution cool down.
  • Once the pickling solution is cool, add the vegetables, ensuring they are fully submerged. Let it sit for at least 2 hours or overnight for the flavors to meld together.

In conclusion, Acar is not just a delicious and versatile accompaniment, but it also comes with a host of health benefits. The vegetables used in Acar are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while the vinegar has antimicrobial properties. Plus, the capsaicin in chilies can boost metabolism and promote weight loss. When selecting vegetables for Acar, opt for fresh, firm, and brightly-colored produce. Remember, the quality of your ingredients will directly influence the taste of your Acar. So, get creative, play around with different combinations of vegetables, and add a vibrant, flavorful twist to your meals with this wonderful dish.

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