Achcharu - Green papaya pickle
When I was in Sri Lanka for the first time, I was living in the house with Sri Lankan aunties and a granny too. When I came back in one year, the granny unfortunately was not there any more..... At the time it was just 3 months she passed away, so I witnessed preparation for Almsgiving ceremony, Sanghika dana. The ceremony should bring a beautiful post-mortem life of the person. Loads of special food are prepared for the ceremony and one of them is achcharu, green papaya or carrot pickle.
Remove seeds from green papaya, peel it and grate. Mix with turmeric and let it rest.
Meanwhile boil vinegar in a pot, salt to taste and cook chilies for about 1 minute and strain, the same with shallots.
Put garlic, ginger, black pepper, mustard seeds powder, salt and 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar into a mortar (or a blender) and crush properly.
Get rid of juice which papaya released meanwhile. If you use carrots instead papaya, there is no need to do this.
Take a bowl, pour in one cup of vinegar and the mix from the mortar. Mix properly. Add shallots, chilies and papaya and mix well again.
Bit by bit start filling it into a clay vessel, press each layer properly.
Cover with newspaper and wrap with a string or rubber. Store in a room temperature.
It is ready to eat in 2-4 days and can last months.
Video contains subtitles.
For 4 portions:
- 1 green papaya grated (or a bowl of carrots)
- 1/2-1 tsp turmeric powder
- 10 green chilies
- 200g shallots
- coconut vinegar or a destilled white vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1-2 cm fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tbs black mustard seed powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Authentic tools needed:
- fermenting crock