Achard Legumes| Mauritian Pickled Vegetables

The recipe I am going to share with you today is that for Achard Legumes, or pickled vegetables, Mauritius style.

Mauritian Cuisine


Mauritius has a multi-cultural society, the inhabitants mostly of French, Indian, Chinese or African origin. The island’s cuisine, too, is therefore multi-cultural, with several influences from French, Indian, Chinese and African origin. The French Coq Au Vin and Daube are just as popular here as Chinese spring rolls and noodles, and Indian curries and chutneys.

While reading up about Mauritian cuisine in detail, I was in fact surprised to find versions of many Indian dishes – Panakon and Rasson (after the South Indian Panakam and Rasam), Cari and Satini (after the Indian Curry and Chutney), Dholl Puri and Farata (after Indian Dal Puri and Paratha).

What is Achard Legumes?


Pickled vegetables, Mauritius style

Achard Legumes refers to the Mauritian way of pickling vegetables, after the Indian achaar. There are several types of pickles made in Mauritius, and this one using vegetables is a hugely popular one. It is an instant pickle that is very simple to make, and a hugely flavourful one at that.

Typically, to make Achard Legumes, vegetables like beans, carrot, cauliflower and cabbage are briefly blanched, then mixed with freshly ground spices. The sour-spicy pickles are usually consumed with faratas or rotis, served with rice and curry, or made into a sandwich.

The Achard Legumes has a beautiful mustardy flavour and a delicious taste. All of us at home loved it, loved how it jazzed up our everyday meals.

Delving into Mauritian cuisine for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop


An island nation in East Africa, Mauritius is well known for its beaches, beach resorts, water sports and rainforests. It is a beautiful, beautiful place, as attested by its photographs I have come across.

I have been fascinated by Mauritius ever since one of my friends honeymooned there, years ago. She shared some pictures from the island with me, and I was charmed instantly.  The azure skies, vast beaches, clear waters, pineapples and tropical fruits, friendly locals in the snaps all called out to me – to a beach person like me, all of it appealed hugely. Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to visit Mauritius yet, but I’m glad to have been able to explore a bit of the country’s cuisine recently, thanks to the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.


The theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop this week is #DueSouth, where we members are showcasing foods from countries in the Southern hemisphere. After much deliberation, I chose to make something from Mauritius, the country I have been so charmed by, and zeroed in on this Achard Legumes.

I have Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds to thank for suggesting this lovely theme. She has some really lovely healthy recipes on her blog, that you should definitely be checking out. Her Multi-Grain Thalipeeth, Ulavachaaru Biryani and Navratan Pulav are on my list of recipes to try out!

How I made the Achard Legumes

I followed this recipe to make the Achard Legumes, with a few little variations of my own. It isn’t too different from our Indian pickles in preparation or taste, and I think it is something you guys would love too.

This is a vegetarian and vegan preparation, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It can be made gluten-free too, by skipping the asafoetida used in the recipe. This is because most commercial brands of asafoetida use some amount of wheat flour. However, if you are able to find gluten-free asafoetida, please do go ahead and use it.

Here’s how I made the Achard Legumes.

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup of pickle):

1. 1 large carrot
2. A small piece of cabbage, roughly 1 cup when chopped
3. Salt to taste
4. 5-6 cloves of garlic
5. 4-5 dry red chillies
6. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
7. 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
8. 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
9. 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
10. 1/2 tablespoon oil
11. Juice of 1 lemon or to taste

Method:

1. Wash the cabbage and carrot well under running water. Pat dry, using a cotton cloth.

2. Peel the carrot. Julienne it i.e. chop it into thin sticks. Keep aside.

3. Similarly, chop the cabbage into thin strips. Keep aside.

4. Peel the garlic cloves. Take the salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida, peeled garlic cloves, dry red chillies, fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds in a small mixer jar. Grind everything together, without adding any water. Keep ready.

5. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the chopped carrot and cabbage. Saute on high flame for a minute. The veggies should get slightly cooked, but should still retain their crunch.

6. Turn the flame down to low-medium. Add the ground paste to the pan. Mix well, ensuring the paste is evenly spread through the veggies. Saute for a couple of seconds on low-medium heat, then switch off the gas.

7. Mix in lemon juice. Your Achard Legumes is ready.

8. Allow the pickle to cool down fully before transferring it to a clean, dry, air-tight bottle. Store refrigerated. Serve as needed with rotis, parathas, thali meals or in burgers and sandwiches.

Tips & Tricks


1. I have used one big, long Delhi carrot here. You can use other varieties of carrot instead, too.

2. I used sesame oil to prepare the Achard Legumes. You can use any other variety of oil you prefer instead, too.

3. Adjust the amount of garlic and red chillies you use, as per personal taste preferences.

4. You can use fresh green or red chillies in the pickle too. I have used spicy dry Salem Gundu chillies here.

5. I have briefly sauteed the vegetables here, before adding the pickling spices to them. You can choose to blanch them, instead, or keep them raw. You may choose any cooking method – just ensure that the veggies aren’t overcooked and that they retain their crunch.

6. Vinegar can be used in place of lemon juice.

7. Traditional Mauritian Achard Legumes uses carrots, beans and cabbage, sometimes even other vegetables like capsicum, onions and cauliflower. Here, I have used only cabbage and carrots.

8. This pickle is best kept refrigerated and used within 3-4 days.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments.