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achar recipe

Nonya Achar Recipe

The Nonya achar is full of flavours, crunchiness, freshness, with its salty and sour taste. It goes extremely well with the nasi lemak, laksa, curry or even on its own as an appetiser and is a great starter to any meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chill in fridge 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 55 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 persons
Calories 100 kcal


Vegetables / Fruits

  • 3 carrots
  • 2 Japanese cucumbers
  • 150 g cabbage
  • 12 stalks french beans
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 2 mangoes peeled and sliced, optional

Pickling Rempah

  • 3 big red chillies
  • 2 candlenuts (buah keras)
  • 5 shallots
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

Cooking & Seasoning

  • 250 ml water
  • 1 ping pong sized tamarind (assam)
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • ¾ cup peanuts (I used cashew) ground
  • 1 tsp salt season to taste
  • Rice vinegar season to taste, optional
  • 3 tbsp sugar (I use Stevia Sweetener sometimes) season to taste, optional


Prepare the pickling rempah

  • Peel shallots.
    5 shallots
    cut shallots
  • Cut off stem from chillies. Optional to remove seeds if you prefer less hot.
    3 big red chillies
  • Place shallots, chillies, candlenuts and 1 tsp turmeric powder into food processor. Blend into a smooth rempah paste.
    3 big red chillies, 5 shallots, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 2 candlenuts (buah keras)
    blend rempah
  • Mix tamarind (assam) with 250ml water. Remove seeds from the tamarind juice.
    1 ping pong sized tamarind (assam), 250 ml water
    mix assam water

Prepare the vegetables / fruits

  • Wash and peel carrots and cut into strips (around 8cm x 0.5cm).
    3 carrots
    cut carrot
  • Wash and cut the ends of cucumber, cut cucmbers into quarter lengths, remove the seeds in the middle, and cut into strips (around 8cm x 0.5cm). Optional to remove skin.
    2 Japanese cucumbers
    cut cucumber
  • Wash and cut the ends of the french beans and cut into strips (around 8cm lengths).
    12 stalks french beans
    french beans
  • Wash the cabbage, then thinly slice the cabbage.
    150 g cabbage
  • Cut pineapples into cubes. Optional to add mangoes, if so, peel and slice the mangoes.
    1 cup pineapple chunks
    cut pineapple
  • Blanch the carrots, french beans and cabbage into boiling water, then quickly dip into ice cold water.
    3 carrots, 12 stalks french beans, 150 g cabbage

Cook the Nonya Achar

  • Heat up cooking oil over medium fire.
    4 tbsp cooking oil
    heat oil
  • Add the pickling rempah and stir fry until fragrant.
    fry rempah
  • Add tamarind juice and mix well.
    fry rempah
  • Lower fire to simmering and let it boil. Add salt and sugar (optional) to taste. Then turn off the heat.
  • Add all the vegetables and pineapple chunks and mix well.
    Add vegetables to achar
  • Add cashew nuts (or ground nuts) and mix well. Optional to add vinegar according to taste.
    Rice vinegar, 3/4 cup peanuts (I used cashew)
    Add nuts to achar
  • Store into air-tight container. Chill in fridge. Nonya achar is best served overnight.
    achar recipe



The Nonya achar is best served overnight and will taste better the longer it's kept. I tend to keep it in airtight container at least for a day before serving it. You might also want to add more rice vinegar if you prefer it a little more sourish and more chilli if you like it hot and spicy. 
Keyword chinese, condiment, dairy free, vegetarian