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21 July 2011

Atcharang Sili (Pickled Pepper)

I was reading a magazine this morning which had an atchara recipe in it.  This reminded me of the first recipe I ever posted online; this was in 2005 in my main blog.  I thought it was about time this recipe made it to this food blog.

During the latter part of my high school years, a friend and I made atcharang sili (pickled pepper) in our home. We'd let it "cook" for less than a week, then we'd munch on the green pepper, whose spiciness has mellowed a bit, and with a good measure of sweet and sour mixed in.  This recipe was lost in time, the one below is from my mother-in-law, which I'm sure is made differently from what we had many years ago, but this is just as good.


Ingredients:

1/2 kilo Sili (green pepper) - stem removed, sliced halfway, seeds removed
3 medium Carrots, sliced - score for presentation by creative slicing
2 cloves Garlic - peeled and sliced
2 medium Onions - baby onions preferred. Crying is optional.
a bunch of chives, chopped
1 liter cane sugar vinegar
roughly-ground black pepper to taste
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons salt

Procedure:
Pour the cane vinegar in a pan over moderate heat . Add the black pepper, salt and sugar. Mix and taste to your preference. This was rather difficult because the cane vinegar was strong! I couldn't detect the taste of the sugar. My in-law took a sample, sprinkled some more salt, and said it's ok. She said you have to smell it as well to detect the sugar. I did, and the strong vinegary smell overwhelmed my sense of smell and almost made me sneeze. Hmmmm.

After bringing this mixture to a boil, turn of the heat to let it cool down. This may take a couple of hours.  Afterwards, the rest of the chopped vegetables are added.  It looked like chop suey (mixed fried vegetables), actually.

Put this mixture into glass jars. My in-law said it's ready to eat!  I recommend leaving it refrigerated for a couple of days though for the flavours to blend thoroughly.  Great with fried fish and meat!