Citizens, it is a veritable fact that the people of Nepal are exceedingly fond of pickles and chutneys known as achaar or achar.
Achaar actually means “spicy pickle”, and they are always an important part of Nepali meals. Achaars are made from fruits or vegetables mixed with spices. Oil is also used as both a pickling medium and a preservative.
Achaars are not eaten by themselves, but as a complementary side dish to a main meal. It is generally eaten with rice, curry, roti or chapati.
Apart from the main ingredient and masala spice mix, achaar achieves its flavor with ginger, tomatoes, lime, onions, garlic etc.
South Asian pickles (or achar) are pickled foods, native to the Indian subcontinent, made from a variety of vegetables and fruits, preserved in brine, vinegar, or edible oils along with various Indian spices.
According to Mohsen Saeidi Madani, Indian-style pickle is called achaar in Hindi, itself a loanword of Persian origin. Āchār in Persian is defined as ‘powdered or salted meats, pickles, or fruits, preserved in salt, vinegar, honey, or syrup.’
Although varies by regions within the Indian subcontinent as well as Nepal, some of the notable ingredient used are limes, lemons, mangoes, ginger, eggplants, and other regional ingredients, but the decisive ingredient is the chili pepper.
In India, there are two main types of achaar, one is made with mustard oil, while the other is without oil. Lime pickle is made by putting the achaar in the salt.
Homemade pickles are prepared in the summer and are matured by exposing to sunlight for up to two weeks. The pickle is kept covered with muslin while it is maturing.
The most popular achaar in Nepal is Golbheda Ko Achaar, which is made from tomato – this is my version of the classic recipe for your enjoyment, Citizens! It includes an exceedingly rare herb found only high in the Himalaya mountains – thankfully, I found an online source for it here in the U.S.! 🙂
It would not be inaccurate to call this a “salsa” of Nepal, Citizens! You might consider enjoying this delicious condiment with some Nepalese fish sukuti!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Nepalese Tomato Achaar – अचार गोल्भेडा
- Total Time: 0 hours
- 1/4 cup mustard oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon ajwain seeds
- 9 medium tomatoes, any variety, chopped
- 4 fresh jalapeños, halved lengthwise
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon dried jimbu – a Himalayan herb related to onion and garlic
- 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled and julienned fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- Dry-roasted whole spices:
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 3 dried red chilies, stemmed and cut into several pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn (timmur)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat and toast the sesame seeds, chilies, timmur, cumin, and mustard, stirring constantly to prevent the seeds from flying all over, until they give off a pleasant aroma and darken.
- Remove the spices from the skillet, pour them into dry container to halt the toasting, and let them cool. Transfer the cooled spices to a spice grinder, grind to a fine powder, and set aside.
- Heat the mustard oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium high-heat until faintly smoking. Add the fenugreek seeds and fry until dark brown and fragrant, about 5 seconds.
- Add tomatoes, jalapeños, salt, and turmeric and cook, covered, until the tomatoes soften. Adjust the heat to medium and cook stirring from time to time, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, mix the dry roasted spices and cilantro and set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add jimbu and cook until darker in color and fragrant. Add the garlic and ginger, and fry, stirring until golden and slightly crisp.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic, ginger with jimbu, draining as much oil as possible, and add them to tomato mixture. Transfer the achaar to a serving dish and sprinkle with cilantro.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 325.13 kcal
- Sugar: 8.22 g
- Sodium: 782.28 mg
- Fat: 27.54 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.0 g
- Trans Fat: 0.05 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.44 g
- Fiber: 5.97 g
- Protein: 5.62 g
- Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
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very tasty achar