Sunday, May 27, 2012

Malaysian Pickled Vegetables #SundaySupper

I know absolutely nothing about Malaysian food, so browsing through Flavors of Malaysia by Susheela Raghavan was a good introduction. This is from the same publisher as the Sri Lankan book I reviewed a while back (and that toffee recipe was a real winner!) so the format is very similar, with history and personal stories along with the recipes.

I have no idea why, but the pickled cucumber and carrot recipe caught my eye. Maybe it's just that I love pickles so much. I liked the idea of crunchier pickled carrots along with the slightly less crunchy cucumbers, and the optional ginger sounded good.

The instructions for the size of the vegetable pieces seemed a bit confusing. It says the pieces should be about 2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide, but the photo in the book showed that the pieces were more of a julienne cut - so I cut mine about 1/4 inch square.

I used the first optional garnish with mustard seeds and rather than the second with peanuts

Here's how it went:

Pickled Cucumber and Carrot
Acar Timun Carot
From The Flavors of Malaysia by Susheela Raghavan
Used with permission; all rights reserved

  • 1 medium (1/2 pound) cucumber, sliced into 1 1/2 to 2-inch-long by 1/4-inch wide pieces (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) peeled and sliced carrots (1 1/2 to 2-inch-long by 1/4-inch wide pieces)
  • 1 cup sliced shallots or red onions 1-inch to 1 1/2 inches by 1/8 inch pieces
  • 1 fresh red chile (jalapeno, Fresno, Serrano, cayenne, Thai, or cherry), sliced into 1 1/2-inch-long by 1/4 inch wide pieces
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 7 teaspoons sugar
  • Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons sliced fresh ginger (1 1/2 to 2-inch-long by 1/8-inch pieces)
Optional Garnish:
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black or dark brown mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons roasted crushed unsalted peanuts or other nuts
  • 1 or 2 fresh green chiles (jalapeno, cayenne, Serrano, or Thai), sliced

Rub cucumber, carrots, onions and chiles with salt and let sit in a colander weighted down by a plastic bag of water for about 15 to 20 minutes, till all liquid is drained.

(Alternately soak the vegetable in water to cover for about 15 to 20 minutes, then drain in colander and gently squeeze out excess water.)

Make the dressing by combining vinegar, sugar, and ginger, if using, in a non-reactive bowl. Add the vegetable mixture and coat well with the dressing.

Optional garnish: In a small skillet, heat oil, add mustard seeds, cover, and let seed pop. When popping subsides, uncover, add the turmeric and chile powder and stir for a few seconds.

Remove from heat and pour this savory oil mixture over the pickled salad.

Or top the salad with the peanuts and chiles.

This post is part of #SundaySupper. Here are the rest of the participants:

Perfect Cocktails:
From the Grill:
Our recipes will be perfectly paired by Wine Everyday