Aug 2, 2010

Atjar Ketimun Manis

Atjar Ketimun Manis

I’m a sucker for anything pickled, with cravings that extend way beyond pregnancy. It won’t come as a surprise that a flaming hot Atjar Ketimun (Acar) served alongside Nasi Goreng is the epitome of yummy for me.

But even I, the spicy food fiend, must admit that flaming hot pickles just don’t go with everything. Unfortunately. Whenever I cook a dish like Beef Rendang (or regular beef), we eat it with steamed rice, green beans and mellower pickles on the side. Pickles that add zing and sweetness instead of heat and zing.


That’s where Atjar Ketimun Manis comes into play. Manis simply means ‘sweet’. It reminds me of my granddad’s pet name for me: ‘Nona Manis’. My grandpa is the one who taught me a lot of Indonesian words, some of which I needn’t know, catch my drift? Which, of course, was absolutely fascinating to a little girl.

But back to what this is all about. Atjar ketimun manis is a deliciously sweet and very flavorful cucumber pickle. It’s simple and calls for basic ingredients, so there’s no fundamental excuse for you not to give this recipe a go! Unless you don’t like pickles, but know that I’ll mock you for that!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cucumber
1/4 medium onion
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cinnamon stick
salt
oil

Directions:

Note:

As is the case with a lot of Indonesian recipes, you’ll need to make this one day ahead of time. When preparing a ‘rijsttafel’, I even start 3 days ahead of time. You have to give the cucumber time to marinade. You might also want to consider doubling or even tripling the recipe, since the pickles will be gone in no time, trust me.

Finely mince 1/4th of a medium onion. And I mean finely.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Peel the cucumber, slice it in half, spoon out the seeds, slice the halves in half (or three parts) again and chop it.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Sprinkle a little salt on top of the cucumber.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Another flavor-maker is this cinnamon stick, in this case half a stick. I’ve never tried it with ground cinnamon, but I’m sure it’s doable if you add only the tiniest pinch.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Get your gear. Turmeric, ground ginger, black pepper and ground cloves.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Heat a drop of oil (well, more like a tsp) and lightly sauté the onion. Do not let it brown!
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Pour in the vinegar, sugar and a pinch of ground cloves. Really just a pinch.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

The rule of 1/4. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Give it a good stir, and heat it ‘til the sugar has dissolved. That’s your cue to add the cucumber pieces. Bring it to a boil, remove it from the stove and let it cool off for several hours, say, 3 to 4 hours.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Drain and remove the cucumber from the sugar vinegar.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Leave the cinnamon stick in there and turn the heat on. We’re going to turn this into a syrup.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has been reduced to a syrup. Add a pinch of salt, discard the cinnamon stick, add the cucumber and turn off the heat. Transfer it to a bowl and store in the fridge overnight.
Atjar Ketimun Manis

There you go. Crunchy, sweet and fragrant. How I love Indonesian food!
Atjar Ketimun Manis

Atjar Ketimun Manis
Ingredients
    1 1/2 cucumber
    1/4 medium onion
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1/4 tsp turmeric
    1/4 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/2 cinnamon stick
    salt
    oil
Directions
    Finely mince 1/4 medium onion. Peel the cucumber, slice it in half, spoon out the seeds, slice the halves in half (or three parts) again and chop it. Sprinkle a little salt over the cucumber. Break the cinnamon stick in half (or use a teeny tiny pinch of ground cinnamon).

    Heat a drop of oil and lightly sauté the onion. Do not let it brown! Pour in the vinegar, sugar and a pinch of ground cloves. Really just a pinch. Add the turmeric, ground ginger and black pepper. Give it a good stir, and heat it ‘til the sugar has dissolved. That’s your cue to add the cucumber pieces. Bring it to a boil, remove it from the stove and let it cool off for several hours, say, 3 to 4 hours.

    Drain and remove the cucumber from the sugar vinegar. Leave the cinnamon stick in there and turn the heat on. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has been reduced to a syrup. Add a pinch of salt, discard the cinnamon stick, add the cucumber pieces and turn off the heat. Transfer it to a bowl and store in the fridge overnight before serving.

Meal type: Condiment
Servings: 4
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    7 Comments »

    1. 1

      Yum!  I’ve never tried making anything like this before except for my crude version of crude pickles (cucumbers curing in vinegar for a few days).  This looks like a very interesting flavor profile but with ingredients I recognize.  Can’t wait to try it!  Good with beef, you say?

      Rhea on Aug 2, 2010 @ 9:45 am Reply
    2. 2

      Never tried to make this myself, good idea!

      Jessi on Aug 2, 2010 @ 11:24 am Reply
    3. 3

      Hi, I just discovered your blog, enjoyed the recipes and I’m now following it..!

      peachkins on Aug 2, 2010 @ 4:02 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Very nice! My late grandfather used to love this kind of food. Spend part of his youth in Indonesia when it was still our colony. His dad was “Chief Telegraph” or something.
      Anyway, thanks for this recipe, I’ll keep it in mind next time I make a beef rendang.

      Jaime de Vos on Aug 2, 2010 @ 9:19 pm Reply
    5. 5

      I love pickles and I love spicy and sweet is nice too.  Today I had a pickle sno cone & fried dill pickles.  Do you think I was craving pickles or something??  :)

      Janie on Aug 4, 2010 @ 5:29 am Reply
    6. 6

      Kay, I am finally getting to this with cukes I just took out of my garden, but are you saying 1.5 cups of cukes or 1 & a half cucumbers?

      Kim on Aug 16, 2010 @ 1:16 am Reply
    7. 7

      Right after sending you the email asking for this recipe I decided to just type in cucumber in the search bar and voila!  Can you remind me if it was 1.5 cups of cukes or 1.5 cucumbers–clearly I need reminders :)
       

      Kim Boynton on Jul 20, 2011 @ 2:15 am Reply

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