Archive for the ‘Condiments’ Category

Cooked Apple Achar Done

When I was growing up, apples were rare in Yemen. I read about them in books; they were always red, sweet and juicy. They were never crispy, green or tangy. Then when I was five, my father was posted in the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen’s Embassy in England, and that was when I was introduced to the green apple. It was love at first sight. It was my favorite fruit to take to school, and I still clearly remember biting into them. Their tanginess sting my eyes momentarily as tears gush out . I always chose the hard and deep green ones because they were extra tangy. When I came to the states, I fell head over heels in love with caramel green apples. There was a chocolate store at the Mall of America in Minneapolis that used to sell amazing caramel green apples and I would make the 45 minute bus ride just for their sake. Well, the green apple has done it again with this beautiful spicy achar (spicy condiment). I was introduced to it when I visited my friend Lucky. She served it as a condiment during lunch and since then I’ve been wanting to get the recipe. So, Monday July 21st 2014, she opened her kitchen to me and showed me how to make it. I walked home hugging a big jar of it. So, here’s the recipe with pics. We made two batches. But for a single batch you will need:


1) 5 green apples –peeled, cored, and roughly chopped.

Apples peeled and coredApple cut up

2) 1 whole garlic finely minced


3) 1/2 handful of dried red chillies (more or less according to personal taste)


4) 1 and 1/2 tsp of Shan Achar/Pickle Seasoning (this seasoning has black cumin, fenugreek, aniseed, mustard seed, cumin, turmeric, chilly powder, garlic powder, ginger powder, salt and cloves)

Achar Seasoning

5) Salt to taste

6) 1 tsp and a half sugar

7) 1/4 cup of white vinegar

8) 1/4 cup of Mustard Oil

In a frying pan, under medium heat, add the mustard oil and let warm.

Mustard Oil

Then add the garlic and sautee for 2 minutes. Do not burn.

Add Garlic to Oil

Then add the dried chillies and let sautee for another 2 minutes.

Then add bisbas to oil and garlic

Then add the chopped green apple and mix well.

Chopped Apple


After 2 minutes of cooking add the Achar/Pickle seasoning, and the white vinegar.

Chopped Apple Seasoning

Cover and leave on low heat and let soften. About 6-8 minutes. Then uncover and add sugar and salt and taste. Then leave on stove under low heat until all the water has evaporated and only the oil oozes out of the mixture when you make a hold in the middle with a spatula. The consistency should be smooth, a little mushy with small chunks.

Cook Green Apple Achar

This is how it looks when it is done:

Cooked Green Apple 2

Let cool completely before emptying into jars and store in the refrigerator. Serve with rice dishes, as a dip. I also make chicken sandwiches and use this instead of ketchup and mustard. Enjoy !


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I really wanted to learn  how to make real frothy Yemeni Hulbah [fenugreek]. You will need powdered Fenugreek for this. Yallah Bismillah:

1) 2 tblsp of powdered fenugreek

2)  salt to taste

3) juice of one lemon or lime

4) 1/2 tomato [not over-riped]

5) green chilly pepper [amount will depend on how hot/spicy you like it]

6) 1 clove garlic

 7) 2 tbslp of cilantro

Alright first soak the ground fenugreek in water–about 1 cup. Mix, cover and leave aside for 2 hours. The water will float to the surface and the fenugreek will form a paste at the bottom. Pour out the water–away goes the bitterness of the fenugreek with it. Now take it and freeze it for about 5 minutes– we do not want it to freeze but rather get cold. Take it out and using a whisk briskly [or you can use an electric whisk] and it will become nice and frothy. Add the lemon juice and the salt and whisk some more and it will become even more frothier. Leave aside.

Now  in a blender place the tomato, cilantro, green chilly pepper, and garlic and blend. You can add a little lemon if it is proving hard to blend. Now take this mixture and add gradually to the whisked fenugreek and keep on whisking until it is all incorporated. And there is your frothy fenugreek ready to serve as a condiment or as a dip with bread.


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