Achar (South Asian pickle)

Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields Makes 6 or 7 pint jars
Achar (South Asian pickle)

Prepare the canner, jars and lids by washing and rinsing the jars and lids, placing a rack in the bottom of a boiling-water canner and placing the jars in the rack, adding water to fill and cover the jars. Cover the canner and bring water to a simmer (boiling the jars or pre-sterilization is unnecessary.)


While the water in the canner is heating, prepare the ingredients. In a skillet, over medium heat, combine the ground peanuts and sesame seeds. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl and set aside.


In a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree the onions, chiles, gingerroot and garlic into a paste.


In a large stainless steel pot, combine the pureed vegetables, vinegar, sugar, salt and turmeric. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Reduce the heat and boil gently until the mixture thickens slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower and reserved peanut mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are heated through.


Pack the hot achar into hot jars, leaving one-half-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot achar. Wipe the rim. Center the lid on the jar. Screw the band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.


Place the jars in the canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove the canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove the jars. Cool and store.

From “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.” A canner is a large, lidded pot with a rack that holds jars upright.

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