Achara is a favorite in Pampanga. We cannot eat fried fish without this side dish. This recipe is made simple without compromising its authentic taste.
1 green papaya (peeled, seeded and grated)
2 inch piece fresh ginger (cut into matchstick size)
4 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
4 cups rice vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground (coarse) black pepper
3 large carrots (grated)
3 red bell peppers (cored and thinly sliced)
2 large onions (thinly sliced)
1/2 c raisins (optional)
1. In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and ginger and cook over high heat. Bring to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the ground black pepper and set aside to cool. You may also refrigerate overnight prior to use.
2. In another bowl, mix papaya, carrots, peppers, onions and salt to taste. Set aside in the refrigerator overnight.
3. The next day (or when you are ready), line a colander with cheesecloth. Place the papaya mixture in the lined colander and rinse thoroughly. Pull up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze to remove excess water.
4. Transfer the papaya mixture in a jar (e.g., mason jars) and pour enough pickling solution and cover tightly.