Achar (Thai-style pickled vegetables)
Fermenting and pickling has become popular again lately, but it has been going on for years. Across Asia, they do a pickle called achar, which I have adapted from a recipe I learned at the Spirit House cooking school on the Sunshine Coast. The combination of peanuts, chilli and sesame seeds is a good one. Serve this on the side of a Thai-style feast, or add rice for a tangy lunchtime salad.
- Mix the cucumber with 1 tbsp salt. Leave aside in a colander to dry excess liquid for about 10 minutes.
- Heat the vinegar gently in a pot and blanch the vegetables in batches. Set aside in a large bowl.
- For the spice paste, blend together the chilli, shallots, and turmeric in a food processor or pound together with a mortar and pestle.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the spice paste and gently heat.
- Add the blanched vegetables and coat with the spice mix.
- Add the peanuts and sesame seeds. Remove from heat, and serve. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.