The Koreans have their kimchi and the Nonyas have their achar. I like both, so I'm making achar for the first time today.
You don't have to be an excellent cook to know how to make achar but let me warn you first, it is alot of work! I spent the entire night cutting up 4 cucumbers, 4 carrots, one head of cauliflower and half a cabbage into small pieces.
After blanching the cut pieces in a bubbling vinegary solution, I ended up with a huge basin of vegetables!
Then I peeled two dozen shallots, a knob of ginger and tumeric, chopped everything up and pounded into a paste (using the pestle and mortar) the old fashioned way. YK walked in and remarked that I look like a Nonya, hovering over the stove with my hair in a bun. Here's what the gravy made using the ground paste, vinegar, sugar and salt, looks like after cooking.
Finally, mix ground peanuts, sesame seeds, vegetables and gravy in a big glass bowl. Leave in the fridge for several days. I have made enough to feed an army. I'll give some away to my family.
After slaving away for hours, it had better be good.