Oct 2, 2014

Acar Ketimun

Acar Ketimun

It’s time for me to redo a few of my older recipes. Some of those photos are atrocious, really. If these were actual prints, I’d build a camp fire to ritually burn them and wildly dance around it while the ashes rise high above me.

Anyhow…

I’m starting with my beloved acar ketimun. If ever there was a food staple in our home, this one is it. Whenever I cook Indonesian food, something that happens a lot around here, I start by making this spicy cucumber pickle. Indonesian food can be quite sweet, and this acar is the perfect counterpart. In all honesty, you could serve plain white rice with acar and I’d still be a happy camper.

Acar means pickle or pickled, ketimun means cucumber. ‘Acar‘ stands for a variety of pickled side-dishes, one of the most renowned around here is acar campur (pickled mixed vegetables), but this one will always be my favourite.

Here we go…

 

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber, peeled
1 small onion or two shallots
1 garlic clove
2 roasted kemiri nuts or 1 tsp kemiri paste (listing substitutes below)
1 or 2 tsp sambal (whatever kind you like)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 slice ginger, grated
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp peanut oil
pinch of salt

 
Directions:

 
I use my tjobek (a flat mortar and pestle) to make my bumbu, but you can use a food processor or immersion blender as well. 
 

I finely mince the onion.
Acar Ketimun

 
Kemiri nuts (candle nuts) are often used in Indonesian cuisine. It adds a richness and creaminess to the dishes with a slight hint of bitter, which balances the sweet and sour nicely. You can buy whole nuts that you first have to roast for about 10 minutes in a dry skillet, but this kemiri paste works pretty good, too. Can’t buy them where you are? No prob. Try macadamia or cashew as a substitute.
 

Add the roasted kemiri nuts or paste.
Acar Ketimun

Grate the ginger and add it.
Acar Ketimun

I usually added finely minced chilli peppers or a big glob of sambal oelek, but this is my new favourite sambal. Use whatever you like or have on hand and whatever quantity you like. I won’t judge!
Acar Ketimun

The turmeric is pretty important here.
Acar Ketimun

Add the minced garlic and start mashing.
Acar Ketimun

Until you have a gorgeous, deep-yellow bumbu. See how mashing the bumbu yourself results in a different structure than, say, your food processor would give?
Acar Ketimun

You can slice/cut/chop the cucumber any way you like. We prefer bit-sized pieces. Sprinkle a small amount of table-salt all over and drain them in a colander.
Acar Ketimun

Heat the oil and cook the bumbu, over low to medium heat, for about 5 minutes while stirring often. Don’t let it burn!
Acar Ketimun

Add the sugar, a good pinch of salt and pour in the vinegar and water.
Acar Ketimun

Bring it to a boil. Temper the heat and simmer over low heat for about 4 to 5 minutes.
Acar Ketimun

Until some of the liquid vas vaporised and you end up with this… I could just eat this by the spoonful, I kid you not.
Acar Ketimun

Stir in the cucumber and give it another 30 seconds before turning off the heat. No longer than 30 seconds, mind you!
Acar Ketimun

Leave the cucumber in the pan until it has cooled off.
Acar Ketimun

Transfer it to a plate, bowl, jar or whatever makes your skirt fly up and store it in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Acar Ketimun

So simple, but so essential when you eat Indonesian food.
Acar Ketimun

Acar Ketimun
Ingredients
    1 large cucumber, peeled
    1 small onion or two shallots
    1 garlic clove
    2 roasted kemiri nuts or 1 tsp kemiri paste (listing substitutes below)
    1 or 2 tsp sambal (whatever kind you like)
    1/2 tsp turmeric
    1 slice ginger, grated
    1 tbsp sugar
    6 tbsp white vinegar
    2 tbsp water
    2 tbsp peanut oil
    pinch of salt

Directions
    I use my tjobek (a flat mortar and pestle) to make my bumbu, but you can use a food processor or immersion blender as well.

    Finely mince the onion, garlic and grate the ginger. Add the roasted kemiri nuts or paste, turmeric, sambal (or a finely minced red chili pepper) and mash until you have a paste. You can slice/cut/chop the cucumber any way you like. We prefer bit-sized pieces. Sprinkle a small amount of table-salt all over and drain them in a colander.

    Heat the oil and cook the bumbu, over low to medium heat, for about 5 minutes while stirring often. Don’t let it burn! Add the sugar, a good pinch of salt and pour in the vinegar and water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes over low heat. Stir in the cucumber and give it another 30 seconds before turning off the heat. Leave the cucumber in the pan until it has cooled off completely.

    Store in the fridge for a few hours until you’re ready to serve it.

Meal type: Pickles, Side-Dish, Indonesian food
Servings: 1
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