Cauliflower, Cabbage, and Carrot Achaar (Malaysian-Style Pickle)
This Malaysian-style mixed vegetable pickle is made with a rempah, or spice paste, stirred into the brine for an extra boost of flavor and texture.
Yield: makes 5 cups
- 1 1⁄2 lb. cabbage (about 1/2 a small head), cut into 1" pieces
- 12 oz. carrots, cut into sticks 2 1/2”-long-by-1/3”-thick
- 10 oz. cauliflower, cut into 1” pieces
- 2 1⁄4 oz. fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 cup roasted peanuts
- 1⁄4 cup tamarind paste, soaked in 1/4 cup boiling water, seeds and pods removed
- 3 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. chile sauce
- 5 cloves garlic (large), roughly chopped
- 1 (2") piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3⁄4 cup white vinegar
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1⁄3 cup toasted sesame seeds
- Heat oven to 200°. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Put cabbage into a sieve and blanch for 1 minute; transfer to a large bowl of ice water to stop it from cooking further, then gently shake sieve to remove excess water. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Repeat with carrots and cauliflower, blanching for 2 minutes instead of 1. Divide the vegetables between two racks over two baking sheets in a single layer. Dry in oven 1–2 hours until dry to the touch.
- Meanwhile, make the spice paste. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the turmeric, peanuts, tamarind, fish sauce, oil, chile sauce, garlic, and ginger and puree, scraping down the sides as necessary. Fry the paste in the bottom of a 6-qt. saucepan, stirring frequently, over medium heat for about 7 minutes until fragrant. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and 1 cup water and stir until the paste dissolves into the brine. Add all of the dried vegetables and stir to coat. Remove from heat and cover; allow to sit for 1 hour. Stir in sesame seeds. This recipe is not suitable for canning, but it will last in the refrigerator for at least a month.