31 Jan 2019


The Sweet, Sour and Spicy

Tan Lay Peng

Multicultural Singapore is an eclectic mix of many flavours and, growing up, I was fortunate to taste all of them through my mum’s cooking. Back in the Tan household, she would blend sweet, sour and spicy flavours from her Indonesian Chinese heritage and serve up delicious dishes such as achar. Today, this humble dish reminds me of mum and of home.






Ingredients for achar:

1 cucumber cut lengthwise (remove the skin and core)

A few carrots peeled and cut lengthwise

2 red pepper cut into small pieces

50 g ground roasted peanuts


Ingredients for achar paste:

5 Shallots cut into small pieces

12 dried chilli soaked overnight

half a cup of vinegar

half a cup of water

Salt to taste

Sugar to taste

5 tablespoons of cooking oil



1. Put shallots and dried chilli in a blender and set aside.

2. Heat up the wok and add in oil. Stir-fry paste until fragrant. Add vinegar and water and bring to boil. Add salt and sugar to taste.

3. Add all vegetables into the wok. Turn off the fire immediately.

4. Add ground peanut, stirring into the mix.

5. Dish out, let cool and serve*

*Dish is best consumed after it has been kept overnight. Achar may be kept in a bottle in the refrigerator and eaten within a few days.


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