Sweet and sour…

I’ve always loved acar timun nenas or cucumber pineapple pickle.

I remember they used to serve that at the Malay weddings in the kampung (village) that I used to attend, usually tagging along with my mum, when I was small. Everyone would be seated on the floor in groups of four and they would be served a few dishes with rice, washed down with iced rose syrup. There would definitely be curry – four pieces of meat, one each (and I would be so happy if there were only two or three in my group so I could have more)…and one or two other dishes plus the cucumber pineapple pickle.

For one thing, everyone had to eat with their hands and I was not good at that and would end up with rice all over my face. Thus, I would just resort to using one of the spoons provided for taking the food from the dishes. I suppose they do not do this at most Malay weddings nowadays – I would not be able to sit akimbo on the floor anymore, that’s for sure and even if I could, I would not be able to get up. LOL!!!

These days, I may get a bit of the pickle whenever I go and eat at the Malay stalls or shops or whenever I go and have nasi bryaniΒ – not much, usually a spoonful or so only, unfortunately. Well, the other day, I decided to take the initiative to make my own. You see, quite sometime ago, I saw this at a pharmacy here…

Apple cider vinegar

…and I don’t really know why I did it but on the spur of the moment, I bought it! It cost RM10.00 a bottle only and I used to dilute some of my Manuka honey in it and drink. I’ve run out of the expensive honey though…and it is so expensive at the shops here that I do not think I would want to buy anymore. Anyway, since I had a lot of the vinegar left, I thought I could use it to make some of that cucumber pineapple pickle.

I cut one cucumber into thin slices…


…and did the same with half a pineapple…


Then I added some sliced chilies…


…and shallots…


I did not want to add any ginger though. I think they do that at some of the shops and I would spend a lot of time picking out those very thin strips of ginger and leave them by the side before eating the pickle. I did put in two one-inch long cinnamon sticks, however, and 1-2 star anise and 4-5 cloves for added fragrance…and I tossed everything together.


Then, I diluted some sugar in the vinegar to counter the very sourish taste and poured the solution in and mixed it all thoroughly before putting everything in a container and storing that in the fridge.

Now, I would be able to have my favourite acar timun nenas with my meals anytime I like.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

51 thoughts on “Sweet and sour…”

  1. Very nice local salad! Or rather condiment. Heh.

    They sell the apple cider vinegar in pharmacies and not places like Ta Kiong? Interesting!

    I like your recipe, especially with the shallots – that’ll give it a bit of a bite! πŸ™‚

    It looks so colorful too!

    Ya, the one next to Soon Hock – that kampua place near our houses, dunno how much they’re selling at Ta Kiong. The salad does look good, eh? Tasted good too…but I prefer it freshly-made. VERY nice… Ok, the following day – not too fond of it when over-pickled…like those we get at some shops here. The colours don’t look as great.

  2. Good morning, Arthur! That type of acar is known as jelatah to us.Delicious when paired with any kind of flavored rice and yours look so darn good. I was dreaming of nasi tomato these few days and berangan- angan to make this jelatah to makan with the nasi.However, if I buat I won’t be using apple cider vinegar as I hate the smell. Must be the trauma when I had the apple cider vinegar + honey diet.I drank liters of it a day and was weighing barely 40kg and was feeling sick all the time..hehe.
    Okay, noted!… you got no more manuka honey:)) Have a wonderful day, you!

    Ahhhh!!!! Nasi tomato!!! Melissa’s coming home tomorrow! Will ask her to cook that and I will make this…jelatah again!!! Yum! Yum! Ya…gotta buy more honey in NZ – you can tell me which would be the better ones to buy, FULL STOP> πŸ˜‰ I love the smell of the vinegar…but the taste, a bit too sour. Feeling sick? I thought they said it will make you healthy, feel good? Maybe you had an overdose… Hehehehehehe!!!!

    1. Soooo…apple cider vinegar + honey drink = lose weight. Ahhhh, ok. Umm, how come you also know of this drink, Arthur – you trying to become medium weight before going to Auckland? I know you have a long makan list, haha πŸ˜‰ [Shereen…onde onde, yum! πŸ™‚ ]

      I don’t. I just read in a blog that it is good for a night cap – apple cider vinegar plus manuka honey dilute in water to make the drink. Will sleep very well, very soothing and relaxing. Didn’t know this when I bought it though – just saw and bought…and then I did not know what to do with it. 😦

  3. Have you taste Acar Limau? Very famous in Sibu. My grandmother used to do it herself especially whenever her children got married, the acar would be our family tradition to be served to the guests. Now, my mother inherited the skill but quite lazy to do it anymore since the youngsters now not really interested with this kind of dish.

    I have. They have VERY nice ones at the Bandong kuih stall in the morning, while stock lasts – I had a post on that before…and also acar buah. That, I can buy…so no need to make my own.

  4. FYI, that is my kampung. Kampung Bandong. hehehe.

    Make sure you go to Mak Met stall in the morning…and the fat “cowboy” stall around 10-30/11 onwards for all the nice things that they sell… Yum! Yummmm!!!! Tell them “cikgu” recommends…

  5. Good Morning Mr. STP! Sorry for not coming here for long. Sweet & sour pickles makes me salivating πŸ˜‰

    No problem at all. Most welcome to drop by anytime… Hope you’re getting on great. Ya…I’m not really a fan of pickles but I love acar and I love this very much.

    1. I really can’t acquire the taste for “smelly” stuff such as garlic, onions, shallots, spring onions; either cooked or fresh. But I like chives, leeks, and coriander leaves. LOL.

      I, on the other hand, do not like chives…and not really a fan of leek either. Coriander, ok in certain soups…but I prefer spring onions. Hehehehehe!!!!

  6. oh, i like that too, haha!! so you call that acar timun nenas?? most of the time if i happen to see that, i will definitely pick that as one of my dish.. just love it being refreshing and appetizing…

    Oh? Well, at least, we DO agree on SOMEthing!!! LOL!!! πŸ˜€

  7. but i would prefer the pineapple to be a little raw, the one you used is too ripe for me.. would love those that the stalls usually use, light yellow in color instead of golden yellow.. and i like the acar in bigger chunks too~~ :p

    I would agree with you about the pineapple but that day, that was the only one I could find, peeled (too lazy to do it myself) at the shops near my house.

  8. Very nice acar! This simple acar is the best to accompany curries. Arthur, what I usually do is I mix the vinegar with sugar (and can add the dry spices) and bring it to a boil. Then I pour it onto the veges. The heat makes it pickle faster. I also rub the cucumbers with salt first to remove excess water. Your acar is now inspiring me to make some this weekend πŸ™‚

    Can boil the vinegar? I thought of doing that as it would be easier to melt the sugar…but I was afraid that it would do more harm than good. Will definitely do that next time…which will be quite soon, I think. The cucumber was ok, not enough time to turn watery…all gone!!! LOL!!! πŸ˜€ Thanks for the tips.

  9. You know what? Just reading and looking at the pictures are making me salivate because of the sour taste that I’m imagining in my mind! Haha not a big fan of sour but I do enjoy eating pickles with nasi kandar once in a while. But you used apple cider vinegar for this… does it not have a strong smell? I used to buy a bottle of it last time and it turned the whole fridge super smelly! I couldn’t stand it!!

    Smelly? I thought it smells good – like Zappel, the apple drink. That was exactly why I decided to use it instead of our regular white vinegar…or calamansi lime. To each his own, I guess…some may not like the smell.

  10. oh boy.. your memories reminded me of mine too! I used to wait for Hari Raya for my neighbour to bring me this pickle… she would serve this with her Nasi Tomato… sigh… I wonder where she is now cos she moved away….

    I guess I have to make this now…. yrs looked so colorful and vibrant. I like that you used Apple cider vinegar.. its less sour to me compared to those normal white vinegar… yummy!! I normally just drink the apple cider vinegar each morning with water for cleansing….

    Yeah…they say it is good for health. Maybe it would be nicer to use calamansi lime…but I have that bottle that I would want to use up. I love this pickle in particular – would want to make again as I still have half a bottle of the vinegar left.

  11. Lovely idea for storing it in the fridge, and have it whenever you like. This is so salivating, Arthur. In fact, I enjoy having my rice with fingers. Especially I take nasi lemak.

    My daughter has picked up the skill from her Malay friends – I am still hopeless at it…rice all over my face. 😦

  12. I love pickles too.. they are indeed appetizing! These days my mom does not have good appetite but give her anything sourish, she can eat her rice and all.. and that includes me too, of course.. yes, malays like to do this.. and I usually end up taking a more of that whenever they are served..
    You made these look so appetizing, Arthur!

    So you can make…so easy – just cut, cut, cut and mix altogether. Can just use ordinary vinegar or calamansi lime juice instead. Mix with rice and eat, sure will lick the plate clean. πŸ˜‰

  13. Oh gosh, so tempting! Salivating..

    That four pieces of meat at a Malay wedding brought to mind one episode of a former colleague of mine. I didn’t witness it but word had it that at one wedding dinner, he (a Malay chap/funnyman) very coolly moved the plate of the four pieces right in front of him and walloped the entire serving right there before the other guests eyes. What guts! Knowing him, the episode could be true. Had a good laugh hearing it from other colleagues.

    Hah!!! If I did that, my mum would beat me to death when we got home – make her lose face only. πŸ˜€ I think 1 curry, 1 kurma…one this acar nenas timun…and one more, cannot remember what – fish maybe, not all four meat.

  14. Wah. Your acar is so classy lah… Use apple cider vinegar instead of the normal cheapo cuka. ;p

    Hehehehehehe!!!! Since I have it, might as well make good use of it mah… Better than just letting it go to waste. πŸ˜‰

  15. Long time I didn’t use hands to eat. Used to follow my classmates during recess eat using hands. I wonder I still remember how to use or not.

    Acar! Reminded me of CNY where my aunt or grandma make acar everywhere to go with keropok!

    That acar, not the same one lah… Between the two, I think I prefer this one. The other type, the acar timun…no nenas, I like more with keropok, not so much with rice. Why your aunt or grandma making, you don;t know how to make kah? Lots of work, that one! This one is so easy…

  16. This kind of acar really nice to eat with nasi briyani!

    Ya…and at the shops, they give one spoonful only… So frustrating lah! Where got enough like that! 😦

  17. I prefer the normal acar, or is it the one called nyonya acar?

    The cafeteria in my workplace offers the cucumber cum pineapple acar almost daily and it has gone stale for me. I suspect the acar they prepared is below QA, that’s why I’m not addicted, yucks! Bluek!

    The nyonya acar, best with keropok. Not really crazy about it with rice… I think I can recall a place or two here – the acar also not fresh…kept for too many days (maybe they made a lot, used slowly) so not so nice plus maybe the ingredients used not up to standard. I still ate – after all, pickles are pickles…but did not enjoy it so much.

    1. Oh ya, I remember now, the acar in my cafeteria is soaked in water!!

      How I wish my company’s management would invite you to become our company dietitian and we would have delicious food daily. Maybe the introduction of Kampua mee? wink! wink!

      Seriously, they need to do something about the menu 😦

      Water? Then how can it be acar or pickle? Must have vinegar or lime juice to pickle wor… Salt water, maybe? Hmmm….where got nice like that?

  18. gimme the timun minus the pineapple la. Love acar but think of the pineapple nose turns sweaty liao. Scared of Pineapple

    Oh? I love pineapples… Would not be the same without it. If just cucumber, I might as well just ulam with sambal belacan or cincaluk…

    1. LOL@ kathy’s comment on pineapple.

      Frankly, I dislike pineapple too. Think of it, my bulu all stand up. I can’t take sourish fruits.

      Good! Good! More male babies in time to come… All the ladies don’t like sour stuff anymore… My missus – sour and pedas, number 1!!!

  19. Apple cider vinegar with honey is apparently really good for you. Some people swear by it, one of them Paul Bragg. I love acar, esp with keropok but haven’t had it in years. So Melissa’s coming home? Is she all done with her studies?

    Yes, FINALLY!!! What a relief! I know there are benefits in drinking the vinegar…but it is very very sour! Not so bad if mixed with honey and diluted with water.

  20. It looks healthy! I love acar too, especially Madam Kwan’s one.

    Indian folks do eat rice with their right hand. I’m not saying that I’ve excelled at it but I’m not that bad either.

    Oh? Malays use their left… I’m hopeless at it, never mind which hand.

    1. I don’t know; the Malays I know all use forks and spoons…

      Not going to go into the details but just take my word for it – they use their left hand…and there is a reason for it.

      1. I thought they do what you implied above with left hand and eat with their right hand? I must have remembered wrongly. I always thought we cannot pass things using our left hand to their left hand for that reason also.

        Not what I heard from a West Malaysian Malay colleague. I did not know of such things before – just thought it would be a matter of preference, any side will do. As for passing things using the left hand and using the left hand to accept, I think that one is across the board – in any culture at all, that would be considered rude, no manners.

  21. Finally sharing your secret? LOL! Love it that you can share your recipe for this. I kinda forgotten about this Timun and Nanas Achar YUM!

    Gosh! That’s a long name. Why not Irene’s girl? I share all my recipes…all simple ones of course – anything that spells work, forget it – I would not be bothered.

  22. Oh love the progression of pics of ingredients being added. I can imagine a nice grilled fish fillet (prolly dory) on top of the salad, Yumz!

    Not on top but eaten together, with this as the side dish… πŸ˜‰

  23. i think that would suit with some arabic bread the they use for shawarmas yum yum

    Is that so? We would eat those with curry and the like here…

  24. ooh, i must admit that i’m actually not a fan of acar, mainly because i don’t like sour food. but i’m strangely attracted to your acar. looks really fresh and colorful. and i love onions, so it’s great that you put a lot of onions into it! πŸ˜€

    Men usually don’t and fat ones, even worse…but this particular one, I like! I love raw onions – just can’t talk to people after eating, as bad as eating raw garlic. Hehehehehe!!!!

  25. I guess I’m one of the weird ppl who doesn’t like sour food :p

    Ladies in the past loved sour stuff and they claim that that is why there are more females today – the acidity killed all the male chromosomes so there tend to be more female babies then. Looks like this is going to change…now that I see more and more ladies who do not like sour stuff. Hehehehehehe!!!!

  26. Nice!! I like acar, if i see it at malay stall or shop that serve briyani, i will take the acar, but i will leave the pineapple behind, or i try not to take pineapple, just all timun. kekekekke

    My way of making, just cucumber, add apple cider / vinegar then salt then sesame oil a bit and sugar, it taste good too.

    I made some yesterday – cucumber only (Bought 3 for RM2.00, used one only so I had 2 left)…the vinegar mixed with sugar, add sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds, not nice…cannot stand the sesame oil smell. In the end, threw all away. 😦

    Why so many ladies don’t like pineapple? My missus’ favourite, 2nd to Bintangor oranges…pineapples!

  27. I would love this as a starter – will be very appetizing. I ate this before, but without the shallots. My mum grow some calamansi limes in front of house, and loves to make salad like this. Her expertise is papaya jeruk.

    Unripe papaya? Hey, I hear you brew with green tea…good for gout prevention and cure!!!

  28. Hehehe Perfect recipe to use up my excess pineapple actually! Shall do it later.

    Nice! All gone now – finished! Will make some more again soon…and will keep in mind some of the tips given in the other comments.

  29. Cut the cucumber in half, scoop out the seeds and cut into one inch long, like fries… Salt water to draw out water, for extra crunch. Drain, sugar and vinegar and some chili padi for extra kick. Put into the fridge.
    Use this for sweet sour,sweeluak, fish or pork or chicken dish, yummy…

    Yes, some people remove the seeds – I decided not to…and instead of having long strips, I wanted triangles…like what I see in the shops here (except the discoloured, not so nice one at Thomson Corner – theirs, all strips). Was very nice the way I made it, even the next day or the day after… Will make again, still got half bottle of the vinegar…must remember not to use over-ripe pineapple this time.

  30. eee healthy food. I must get more of this soon.. hahaha ><

    Waves.. good night Arthur!! Thanks for still dropping by my inconsistently updated blog.

    See how loyal I am! Sure deserve a big treat when I go KL…. Com eto think of it, you never took me out for a meal hor??? Hmmmm…..

  31. I haven’t tried combining cucumber and pineapple slices. I’d love to try this recipe. Can I also use canned pineapple tidbits or chunks? Or fresh one is better?

    Never really like canned pineapples – so soft, no nice crunch to it. Taste-wise, should be the same. The extra sweet syrup in the can would come in handy to counter the sour taste of the vinegar.

  32. I always order this dish when we go eat at the mamak restaurant. I find it very refreshing but sometimes they may be a little sour for me.. Yours look far more appetizing for there are more colors in it. I am sure homemade is the best.

    Here, they give free as one of the sides at the nasi bryani places…very nice too, but they only give a spoonful! So kedekut!!! 😦

  33. Acar timun looks awesome. Very colourful. Thanks for the easy and hassle free recipe. Will try out soon.

    Nice! Best not to make too much, eat fresh. After a few days, discoloured…does not look so nice, still tastes ok though.

  34. looks really GOOD! Over here, i marinate my slice timun with salt for a while. Then wash away after a while and add in asam boi + cili padi.

    I would use cili padi next time. These big ones all pondan, hopeless…not spicy at all, not even a little bit.

  35. wuah! looks good! πŸ™‚ btw i have yet to launch the grenade searching in ang cheng ho. πŸ˜›

    Ya, was good. Would want to make some more soon… Get my girl to cook tomato rice to eat with it. She’s home!!!! πŸ˜€

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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