A side dish you will eat with relish! The atchara is an appetite enhancer, as well as a palate freshener that is made of pickled fruits and vegetables preserved in vinegar and sugar, salt and spices. The resulting flavor is a combination of sweet, sour and salty. It is called by other names around the country such as inartem in Ilocos, achar in Leyte, boro in Zamboanga, and buroin the Tagalog region. It is best served as a perfect complement to grilled, fried, or roasted dishes!
(makes one jar of atchara.)
- 3 to 4 lbs. green papaya (or mango or daikon)
- 1 red onion
- 2 large carrots
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb-size ginger
- 10 thai bird chilies (you can use jalapeño or serrano chilies)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup salt to dehydrate the papaya
- 1 cup PAMANA cane vinegar (or 1 cup apple cider vinegar)
- 1 cup palm sugar (or 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt for the pickling liquid
Vegetables & Spices
- Peel and cut your papaya in half, then scoop out the seeds.
- Once clean, julienne or slice the papaya into thin strips. You can julienne the papaya using a knife or grater or you can put the papaya in a food processor to cut down on your food prep time.
- Add 1/4 cup salt to the julienned papaya and mix well. Let it sit for around 30 minutes as this helps release the extra liquid from the papaya.
- After 30 minutes, rinse the papaya with warm water, making sure to wash all the salt from the papaya.
- Strain the papaya and once you’ve drained the water, wrap the papaya in a cheesecloth and give it a good squeeze to remove the remaining liquid. Set aside.
- Julienne or slice the carrots and onions into thin strips.
- Peel the ginger and cut into big slices. Peel and crush the garlic.
- Set aside all vegetables.
- If you’re using palm sugar, shave off the sugar using a knife.
- Pour the PAMANA vinegar into a sauce pan.
- Add in sugar, whole garlic cloves, Thai chilies, and sliced ginger and bring to a boil, about 5 minutes.
- Build your atchara. Put the papaya, carrots, onions, and raisins in a mixing bowl. Pour in the pickling liquid then mix all the ingredients together until the liquid is fully incorporated.
- Keep in an airtight container (mason jars work well).
- Marinate for at least 3 days before serving.