recipies veg food

Atjar Tjampoer : Sauerkraut Style

If you have ever had Indonesian food then you know that Atjar Tjampoer is one of the most important sides to complete the whole taste experience.
A while back, while I was still living in Ecuador, I had the chance to do a workshop with the king of fermentation Sandor Katz. It was so inspiring and fun! And it got me thinking….

Almost all traditional cultures have a fermented side dish to complete their meals. Japanese have miso, soya sauce, umeboshi etc. Germans have sauerkraut and. Indians have idlis, pickles and chutneys. Indonesians has Atjar Tjampoer!

They were smart, and unconscioulsy (or very consciously) knew that this not only completes the 6 tastes, but helps digestion and contains quite some vitamins & minerals.

Normal Atjar Tjampoer is really more like a pickle, veggies and spices marinated in vinegar. Not bad, but commercial jars are usually not filled with a high quality, full of friendly bacteria raw fermented vinegar….
So I figured I have two options…

Either pickle the veggies myself in a proper organic raw apple cider vinegar, or…

Make Atjar Tjampoer ferment!

This one obviously sounds more exciting. I have already done it many times, and if you like fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, you will go crazy with this one.


500g of any organic veggies you have at home (carrots, cole, green beans, beetroot, fennel….) Here I used cole and beetroot.
2 teaspoons ginger powder
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon mustard powder/mustard
1 tablespoon jaggery/coconut nectar/coconut sugar…
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2cm of fresh ginger, grated
salt to taste


Grate or cut very fine all the veggies. I used a food processor with grate function.

In a clean, deep bowl, mix the veggies with all the spices.

Now massage you veggies! Yes, get your hands in there and squeeze and press the veggies untill the juice comes out. You want enough juice to actually cover your veggies.

Now you can transfer your mix to a clean & sterilized jar. Press everything down so that the juice covers the veggies. I always put a leaf of some vegetable on top to keep the mix from coming up. Cover with a cheese cloth and leave to ferment for approximately 3 days. Press the veggies down once or twice a day to keep the juice covering everything.

After 3 days you can start tasting your ferment. When you are satisfied with the taste, the jar can be kept in the fridge.

Now, invite some friends, make a huge Gado Gado, and share your tangy, spicy and delicious home made Atjar Tjampoer!

Tip: Make your own peanut sauce with coconutcream, peanutbutter, soyasauce, a bit of coconutsugar, fresh ginger and chilli. 🙂

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