Friday, 16 August 2013

{acar awak (spicy pickled mixed vegetables) in hermie}

Acar awak is one of those dishes that I remember from a child that my mum would make and then store in recycled glass bottles in the fridge and wonder what was so good about it. Now I realise that this was something that reminded her of growing up in Malaysia and the memories that it brought back when eating it. I think it also has something to do with the fact that when I was young, I couldn't eat much of it because it was quite chilli hot and although I make it now, I don't down size the chilli factor because I think it makes the dish what it is. Having said that, it again is a fine line between eating pleasure and eating pain when I eat this dish. It will keep in the fridge for a good couple of weeks if you don't add the peanut to it. I personally don't add peanuts because we have a nut allergy in the house.

1/2 continental cucumber, cut into 3 cm long strips with seeds removed
1 carrots, cut into 3cm strips
150 grams green beans, cut into 3 cm lengths
100-200 grams cabbage, cut into 3cm thick
100 grams cauliflower, cut into small florets

Pickling Liquid:
450grams water
300grams white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Spice Paste:
15 dried chillies, soaked in hot water
10-15 grams belacan
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
5 grams galangal
1 stalk lemongrass
2 tablespoons coriander seeds

30 grams vegetable oil (I use canola)
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon vinegar

1. Soak the dried chillies in hot water for the spice paste.
2. Add all ingredients for the pickling liquid into the TM bowl. Heat for 8mins/ 100C/ speed 1.
3. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables as above for pickling. 

4. While the liquid is still hot, set the controls to 2.5mins/ varoma/ reverse/ stir speed. When it boils, remove the MC and add the prepared vegetables through the hole. Drain in a colander. Dry the TM bowl.
5. Add belacan into dry TM bowl. Dry roast 5mins/ varoma/ speed 1.
6. Add in rest of the spice paste ingredients and blend 15-20secs/ speed 7 or until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl.
7. Add vegetable oil into TM bowl and saute 6mins/ varoma/ speed 1.
8. Add sugar, salt and vinegar to TM bowl and cook 2mins/ varoma/ speed 1/ reverse.
9. Finally, add the pre-pickled vegetables and stir through with spatula. Cook a further 1mins 30secs/ varoma/ stir speed/ reverse.
10. Store in a clean (preferably steralised) container in the fridge. Serve sprinkled with peanuts as a side dish to something like beef rendang.

Acar served here as part of Nasi Lemak

Makes about 800grams.

Bon Appetit xx

Notes: The vegetable quantities that I've listed above are just a guide. I basically just use what I have in the fridge and what can fit into the TM bowl. In the photos above, you can see that I forgot to add the cauliflower but it still tastes delicious! Also, belacan or dried shrimp paste can be found in all good Asian Grocery stores. Finally, I prefer to make this a day or 2 before being eaten as the flavour develops over those days and it tastes so much more better!

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