Achar Awak is a Nyonya spicy mixed vegetable pickle similar to piccalilli but with more flavours. It is delicious eaten cold and is ideal as a picnic food, served with drinks or with cold meats. Traditionally, the vegetables need to be dried in the sun until they are dried and crispy. My version is somewhat simplified as I dehydrate my vegetables by salting and pressing. Use Nonya Sambal curry mix mixed with vinegar and sugar to complete the process.
1 large cucumber
2 large carrots
200g white cabbage
100g green beans (you can also add cauliflower, baby Asian shallots, whole garlic)
100g chopped roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 jar Nonya Secrets Nonya Sambal Curry Mix
350ml vinegar (I am using malt vinegar but you can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
3 tbsp salt for salting the vegetables.
Cut the deseeded cucumber (do not peel the skin), into 5cm x 1 cm strips. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sea salt and tie into a muslin bag. Weight it down with a heavy object and leave overnight if possible. This will extract the moisture. Repeat with the carrots.
Cut the white cabbage into bite sized squares –about 5 cm x 5 cm and the cauliflower into small bite sized florets. Cut the green beans into 5 cm lengths. Salt each vegetable and press.
The pickling mixture is made by mixing the Nonya Sambal curry mix, sugar, vinegar into a bowl and then bring it to a boil until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the pickling mixture to the prepared vegetables and mix well. Add the chopped peanuts and sesame seeds and bottle in dry sterilised jars and seal. Best served after 2-3 days.