Achara/atsara is the Philippine contribution to the world of Asian pickles. There are many versions, and virtually any vegetable can be used for making achara. Any mention of achara, though, will most likely evoke thoughts of this type of achara, which uses green papaya.
Estimated cooking time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Achara or Atsara Ingredients:
* 800 g green papaya, grated or julienned (cut into long thin strips)
* 2 medium carrots, grated
* 1 onion, grated
* 1 medium red capsicum (pepper), julienned
* 1 medium green capsicum, julienned
* 1 c raisins
* 2 Tbsp salt
* 2 c sugar
* 1 inch piece ginger, julienned
* 2 cloves garlic sliced thinly
* 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Achara or Atsara Cooking Instructions:
* In a large bowl, mix the grated green papaya with the salt.
* Cover with cling film and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
* Meanwhile, the syrup can be prepared by boiling the vinegar and sugar.
* When the sugar has dissolved, mix in the ginger, garlic and black pepper and let simmer for a further 5 minutes.
* When ready, rinse the papaya well. Squeeze as much of the water out as possible by placing the rinsed papaya in a large piece of muslin and wringing it hard.
* Mix in the rest of the vegetables.
* Put the vegetable mix into sterilized jars.
* Pour in the syrup and remove bubbles by pushing the vegetables down with the back of a spoon.
* Put lid on jar.
* If for immediate consumption, the jar can be put in the fridge and it should last for a week.
* If ‘preserving’, put the jars in a cauldron of lukewarm water, making sure the water level is around 2cm above the jar lids.
* Bring to a boil and leave on a rolling boil for around 30minutes.
* Leave the bottles in the cauldron, with water, until completely cool. The pop lids should be flat, meaning a vacuum has been created. Otherwise, repeat the pasteurization process. This pasteurized atsara should be good in the jar for a couple of months.
* Refrigerate upon opening.