Let’s dive into one of the famous Mauritian dish or also a side dish that all Mauritians love. The Mauritian Achard Legume (vegetable pickle) is a mix of pickled and curried vegetable dish. It is often eaten as a side dish to accompany the main curry and rice. The Achard Legume could be compared to a pickled dish. Similar to how Koreans have their kimchi, Mauritians have their Achard. Although this is a common dish, the first time I tried to make it was with my mum during confinement! So hopefully this helps many Mauritians who haven’t made it yet and non-Mauritians who’d love to try this!
This recipe is the most common type of Achard. You’ll find it anywhere on the island. From a friend’s fridge, to supermarkets, to local restaurants or small street vendors. Now, there are also a variety of different Achards, like the chilli achard and mango achard. Hence, you can probably guess a little what Achard means… The word is derived from the Indian word for pickled “achaar”, therefore the Achard refers to a type of pickle.
There are many ways of eating the Mauritian Achard Legume (vegetable pickle). You can have it as an accompaniment with a curry dish, a rougaille (a tomato-based Mauritian dish). Or you can also have it alone in a good crispy baguette. That is the way we love to eat it! You get the full crunch and flavour of the Achard Legume held in a warm and crunchy baguette. Another option is to have it in a roti with the rougaille and brede songe touffé (stewed taro leaves). You can pretty much eat it however you want to! It fits into every every meal! So without further ado let’s get to it!
How long will this Mauritian Achard legume last you?
The amount that this recipe makes is quite a lot, however it depends on how you eat it too. If you’re eating this as a main dish, like us, in a baguette, you can serve upto 8-10 baguettes. Depending on how much you fill your baguettes. Otherwise it will last you 1 to 2 weeks if you eat it as a side dish.
How to store the Achard Legume
Once you’ve made the dish, it is best to let set for 1-2 days. This will let the vegetables pickle a bit more and the flavours will be well incorporated. Pretty much you’re letting it marinate a bit in all the fragrant flavours before devouring it! You can also it it right away however the taste will be at a next level after the 2 days.
Best kept in a sealed container in the fridge, the Achard Legume is usually eaten cold or at room temperature.
The Mauritian Achard Legume (Vegetable pickle)Course: From the Kitchen, Something LightDifficulty: Easy
1/2 green Cabbage
4 medium-sized Carrots
10-15 Green Beans
5 Garlic Cloves
11/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoon Mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Salt (add more or less to taste)
2 tablespoon Vinegar
4 Fresh green chillies (add more or less to taste)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Cut up the Cabbage and Carrots into thin strips, in technical terms, julienne them
- Cut the green beans and chilli into strips on an angle, not along the bean (refer to photos for for an idea of how it looks when cut)
- With the flat side of your kitchen knife crush the garlic cloves so they are flattened, this releases the flavours during cooking
- Cut up your onions in quarters or into more pieces if you’re not a fan of big pieces of onions
- In a big bowl add in Cabbage, Carrot and Green beans and submerge the vegetables in boiling water for no more than 2-3 minutes, this will help soften and cook the vegetables slightly but still keep them crunchy
- In a bowl mix your turmeric powder and mustard seeds: roughly crush the mustard seeds and mix with the turmeric powder
- Add a bit of water so that it becomes a paste
- In a big pan pour in approximately 1/4 cup of vegetable oil for the amount of vegetable we have this should work
- On medium heat, add in the flattened garlic cloves, onions and chilli let them cook but not for too long, about 30 seconds don’t let them brown
- Drain the water from vegetables and add all of it into the pan, let fry while continuously stirring until the vegetables have cooked more but still crunchy
- Turn off the heat and pour in your turmeric and mustard paste and mix vigorously until incorporated all your cabbage, onions and garlic should turn and even yellow
- Add in the vinegar and salt to taste and mix to even the seasoning out
- Let cool completely before eating
- * If your gelatin doesn’t dissolve, heat up the mixture on low heat, stirring constantly. Make sure not to let the mixture boil.