An "achar" is a sauce, sweet and a bit sour (depending on how much vinegar you use), and it's served cold.It's perfect for curry based dishes, any spicy dish really, or pork roasts for example. It's unbelievably delicious and so easy to make. It does take a bit of time though, so to make it in a lazy Sunday afternoon always seems appropriate to me.
1 kg red peppers
1/2 kg apples
10 to 20 cloves
1/2 cup tarragon vinegar
You are supposed to cook the peppers and the apples separately, but I'm lazy, so...I give a head start on the peppers (cut in 4), then peal and cut the apples in 4. Stick the cloves in the apples and then throw them in the pot with the peppers. 10 min. should be enough.
After that, throw away the water and remove the cloves. They were there just to give flavour while boiling, but you don´t want to bite them when you are eating the sauce...it's nasty. Oh! And you are supposed to peal the peppers. I never do, because again, I'm lazy. In any case remember to let the whole thing get colder before attempting both of the previous steps. Since I'm not just lazy but also very impatient I normally get my fingers burned. But I thought it would be better to give you a warning, because I don't want to be responsible for 1st degree burnings in fingers all over the world.
An apron is advised for the next step... just saying... Blend the peppers and the apples and weigh the paste you get. *Add half of that weight in sugar.
Take it to a low/medium fire and stir once in a while until it boils. Stir more often after that. By the way, little bubbles may jump out of the pot to try and attack you... keep stirring until you can scratch the bottom of the pot with the spoon and get a "screeetch" sound and a line gets marked in the paste (that probably has a specific name in English but i honestly don't know it). Turn of the fire and add the tarragon vinegar and mix very well. I love this part cause I feel like the witches in the stories, stirring the fuming (OK it doesn't fume) cauldron!
Put it in glass jars, which just reminded me that I need to buy a funnel and that I will be making a big mess in my kitchen soon. It will last for at least 2 months in the fridge...probably more, but I always eat it all before that time. I'm planning to give one to my neighbour and another to my "mother in law" this time.
all photos by me