Achards Recipe: A Traditional Madagascar Dish


Achards Recipe: A Traditional Madagascar Dish
Region / culture: Madagascar | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4



Achards, a vibrant and tangy vegetable pickle, is a delightful accompaniment that brings a burst of flavor to any meal. Originating from the diverse culinary traditions of the Indian Ocean islands, this dish is a testament to the fusion of cultures and flavors that characterize the region. Made with a mix of julienne vegetables, spices, and lemon juice, Achards is not only delicious but also a colorful addition to the table. This recipe offers a simple yet authentic way to prepare this traditional condiment, perfect for those looking to explore the rich tapestry of island cuisine.


The recipe for Achards has its roots in the culinary traditions of Mauritius, Reunion, and other islands in the Indian Ocean. It reflects the melting pot of cultures, including Indian, French, African, and Chinese influences, that have shaped the region's history. Originally, Achards was a way to preserve vegetables for longer periods, especially in the tropical climate where fresh produce could spoil quickly. Over time, it evolved into a beloved side dish, enjoyed for its tangy and spicy flavor profile.


How to prepare

  1. Place the carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, and green beans in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Drain well and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the ginger, chilies, onion, and curry powder. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the drained vegetables and cook over high heat for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve as an accompaniment.


  • While this recipe uses carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, and green beans, feel free to experiment with other vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or eggplant. Adding a splash of vinegar can introduce an extra tangy note, while a sprinkle of sugar can balance the spiciness.
  • While this recipe offers a traditional take on Achards, feel free to experiment with different vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or even green mango for a unique twist.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Achards is as flavorful as possible, consider the following tips:

- Use fresh, crisp vegetables for the best texture.

- Blanching the vegetables briefly keeps them vibrant and crunchy.

- Adjust the amount of chili peppers based on your heat preference.

- Letting the Achards cool before serving allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

Achards can be served as a side dish with grilled meats, seafood, or alongside rice and curry dishes. It also makes a great topping for sandwiches and wraps for an extra kick of flavor.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in this recipe are blanching the vegetables to retain their crunch and sautéing the spices to release their flavors. Both methods are simple yet essential for achieving the perfect Achards.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have fresh root ginger, ginger powder can be used as a substitute. Similarly, apple cider vinegar can replace lemon juice for a different acidic note.

Make Ahead Tips

Achards can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, allowing the flavors to develop further. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Achards in a colorful bowl to highlight its vibrant appearance. Garnishing with fresh herbs like cilantro can add an extra touch of freshness.

Pairing Recommendations

Achards pairs wonderfully with rich, creamy dishes as its acidity cuts through the heaviness. Try it with coconut milk-based curries or creamy pasta dishes for a balanced meal.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store Achards in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It is best served cold or at room temperature, so reheating is not necessary.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Achards is low in calories, with an average of 50-70 calories per serving. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking for a light and healthy side dish.


This Achards recipe is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the vegetables. On average, a serving contains about 10-15 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carb intake.


The only source of fat in this recipe is the tablespoon of vegetable oil used for sautéing. This amounts to a minimal fat content per serving, contributing to the dish's overall healthfulness.


Achards is not a significant source of protein, as it primarily consists of vegetables. However, it can complement protein-rich dishes to create a balanced meal.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of vitamins A and C, thanks to the carrots, cabbage, and lemon juice. It also contains minerals like potassium and iron, primarily derived from the green beans and cauliflower.


This recipe is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, and gluten. However, those with specific vegetable allergies should adjust the recipe accordingly.


Overall, Achards is a nutritious and flavorful addition to any meal. It is low in calories, fats, and carbohydrates, while providing essential vitamins and minerals. Its allergen-friendly profile makes it suitable for a wide range of dietary preferences.


This Achards recipe offers a delicious way to explore the flavors of the Indian Ocean islands. With its simple preparation, nutritional benefits, and versatile serving options, it's a must-try for anyone looking to add some zest to their meals. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a culinary novice, Achards is sure to impress with its tangy, spicy, and refreshing taste.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of anticipation I felt when I first saw this recipe for Achards. It was many years ago, back when I was just a young girl living in the small village of Sainte-Marie on the beautiful island of Mauritius. My grandmother, who was an incredible cook, had invited me to spend the day in the kitchen with her. I was thrilled at the prospect of learning some of her culinary secrets.

As we gathered the ingredients for the Achards, my grandmother began to tell me the story of how she had learned to make this delicious dish. She explained that Achards were a traditional Mauritian pickled vegetable dish that was served as a side dish or condiment. The recipe had been passed down through generations in our family, with each cook adding their own twist to the dish.

My grandmother's version of Achards was a tantalizing mix of crunchy vegetables, tangy vinegar, and fiery spices. She told me that she had first learned to make Achards from her own grandmother, who had brought the recipe with her from India when she immigrated to Mauritius many years ago. Over the years, my grandmother had perfected the recipe, adding her own unique blend of spices and flavors.

As we chopped the vegetables and mixed the spices, my grandmother shared her memories of learning to cook as a young girl. She told me about the long hours she had spent in the kitchen with her mother, watching and learning as she prepared meals for their large family. She spoke of the laughter and camaraderie that filled the kitchen, of the smells and tastes that lingered in the air long after the meal was finished.

As we cooked, my grandmother's hands moved with practiced ease, her movements fluid and precise. She showed me how to season the vegetables just right, how to mix the spices in the perfect proportions, how to let the flavors meld together to create a dish that was greater than the sum of its parts. I watched in awe as she worked, absorbing every detail, every nuance of her technique.

Finally, after hours of chopping, mixing, and stirring, the Achards were ready. My grandmother ladled the fragrant mixture into jars and sealed them tightly, the vibrant colors of the vegetables shining through the glass. She smiled at me, her eyes sparkling with pride and satisfaction.

"Here you go, my dear," she said, handing me a jar of the Achards. "Now you have the recipe, too. Carry on the tradition and make it your own."

I thanked her profusely, my heart full of gratitude and joy. I knew that this recipe for Achards was more than just a dish – it was a link to my past, a connection to my heritage and my family. I promised myself that I would cherish it, nurture it, and pass it down to future generations.

And so, over the years, I have continued to make Achards, adding my own touches and variations to the recipe. I have shared it with friends and family, delighting in their reactions as they savor the unique flavors and textures of this traditional Mauritian dish. And every time I make Achards, I feel my grandmother's presence in the kitchen with me, guiding my hands and filling the air with her love and warmth.

As I write this, I can't help but smile at the memories that flood back to me – of the days spent in the kitchen with my grandmother, of the laughter and love that filled our home, of the delicious meals that brought us together as a family. And I know that as long as I continue to cook and share these recipes, my grandmother's legacy will live on, a testament to the power of food to connect us to our past and nourish us in the present.


| Cabbage Recipes | Cauliflower Recipes | Chile Pepper Recipes | Curry Recipes | Green Bean Recipes | Malagasy Recipes |

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