Atchara is a pickle famous in all regions in the Phillipines. It’s main ingredient is unripe Papaya, mixed with carrots, ginger, onion and it is diluted with vinegar. Make this Homemade Atchara and you will never be buying another one.
This Atchara is just how I remembered it- sweet and sour in taste, the Papaya crunch, and how great it tastes when paired with Broiled Mackerel.
Atchara is one of those appetizers I missed in PI. I always made this before, using the handpicked Papaya we had in our front yard. I got so many of it I pretty much got a headache trying to figure to eat all of them.
And that Papaya plant is memorable because we planted it; well, sort of. I was just newly married then and we threw some papaya seed in one corner of our front yard the seed grew into a huge Papaya plant giving us fruits that were more that we can handle, our neighbor just picked them too.
HOW DO YOU MAKE ATCHARA?
There are two ways to make it depending on your purpose.
1st If you make Atchara for gift giving, and for longer shelf life, you have to cook all of the ingredients together with the vinegar mixed with sugar.
2nd If you make it for daily consumption, you can cook the vinegar mixture and just pour it onto the ingredients. For me, I usually use the first step.
3rd Coat shredded Papaya with salt and squeeze out excess juice and don’t wash anymore to keep the authentic taste of the unripe Papaya.
4th Ginger is a must. Some recipes skip the Ginger altogether. I highly recommend not skipping the ginger since it brings tang to your Atchara.
HOW TO STORE ATCHARA?
Storing your Atchara is easy to do.
1st If you want a longer shelf life, sterilize your container by boiling them. Pour the cooked ingredients into the container, let it cool, seal it properly and refrigerate.
It is a must to store it in the fridge, or, it will be stale.
2nd For daily consumption, you can simply store it in any container and refrigerate it.
1ST Unripe Papaya is the main ingredient. You can’t use ripe Papaya or else you will get mushy and stinky. It just doesn’t work.
2nd Ginger mixed with sugar diluted with vinegar to get its tangy taste.
3rd Bell pepper, carrots, and raisins.
WHAT’S THE HARD PART OF MAKING ATCHARA
1ST Papaya. Unripe Papaya is not readily available in my store, so I have to drive 4 hours to get it.
2nd Shredding the Papaya. Yeah, it is no fun shredding 2 medium-sized unripe Papayas.
3rd Squeeze out the excess Papaya juice. To make this easier, I use cheesecloth and squeeze the shredded Papaya into a small batch.
EAT IT WITH
- 3 1/2 LBS unripe Papaya shredded
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1 piece 6 inch carrot
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1/2 of red bell pepper cube or thick strips
- 1 piece 3 inch ginger cut into strips
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup salt
- Shred papaya and sprinkle in 1/2 cup of salt. Let it sit for about an hour and rinse. Using a cheese cloth squeeze out excess fluid. Set aside.
- Place the vinegar, sugar, carrot, onion, pepper, ginger in a large saucepan and boil until the sugar is dissolve. Remove 1/2 cup of mixture.
- Add shredded papaya into the vinegar mixture. Add the raisins and cook the papaya for about 5 more minutes while gently mixing so that sauce coat the papaya. Put the Atchara in a container and pour in left over vinegar mixture.
- Let cool and refrigerate for 3 months. You can store it in the freezer also.