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Sauces and Condiments

Achar (South Asian pickle)

Achar (South Asian pickle)
Los Angeles Times

Seems like we waited forever for great summer produce, and now it's abundantly here -- too abundantly, if you're a fruit-tree owner, overly enthusiastic vegetable gardener or incorrigible farmers market shopper. Got plums, ripening all at once? Neighbors with zucchini ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, 45 minutes | Makes 6 or 7 pint jars
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, ground
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 15 small dried red chiles (about 1 inch each)
  • 1 (1 1/2 -inch) piece gingerroot, peeled
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 5 English cucumbers, ends removed, cut into sticks (1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 -inch wide; 14 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into sticks (1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 -inch wide; 1 1/4 cups)
  • 5 cups small cauliflower florets (1 head cauliflower)

Step 1Prepare the canner, jars and lids by washing and rinsing the jars and lids, placing a rack in the bottom of a boiling-water canner and placing the jars in the rack, adding water to fill and cover the jars. Cover the canner and bring water to a simmer (boiling the jars or pre-sterilization is unnecessary.)

Step 2While the water in the canner is heating, prepare the ingredients. In a skillet, over medium heat, combine the ground peanuts and sesame seeds. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Step 3In a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree the onions, chiles, gingerroot and garlic into a paste.

Step 4In a large stainless steel pot, combine the pureed vegetables, vinegar, sugar, salt and turmeric. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Reduce the heat and boil gently until the mixture thickens slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower and reserved peanut mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are heated through.

Step 5Pack the hot achar into hot jars, leaving one-half-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot achar. Wipe the rim. Center the lid on the jar. Screw the band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Step 6Place the jars in the canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove the canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove the jars. Cool and store.

Note: From "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving." A canner is a large, lidded pot with a rack that holds jars upright.


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