Acar Beetroot – Pickled Beet

Indonesian Acar Beetroot - Pickled Beet

There are so many types of pickled dishes in Beb Vuyk’s book; some are cooked, some are without vinegar, others are made from cabbage or cucumber but I’ve never eaten this red beetroot acar (pickels). I love beet so beetroot in an acar must be delicious.

Acar Beetroot (Acar beet) # 422 translated from Beb Vuyks’ Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page


  • 1/2 kg of beets
  • 4 dl vinegar


  • 3 to 4 slices of ginger root
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 4 salam leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • salt
  1. Boil the beets the usual way, peel them and cut them into cubes of ± 2 cm.
  2. Bring the vinegar to the boil with the ginger root, cloves, peppercorns, salam leaves, sugar, and salt.
  3. Arrange the pieces of beet in jam jars and pour the herb vinegar on top.

I am going to make a large amount today because I want to have some extra acar for Christmas. The beets can stay in the vinegar mix for a long time, so it’ll be perfect to enjoy for many weeks to come.

I buy already boiled beets. That saves a lot of work and energy and it is just as good.

Clean jars

I make sure that my large jam jars are very clean. I cycled them in the dishwasher and I have thoroughly rinsed the jars with boiled water afterwards. You can also let them boil in water for a minute or 5 in a large pan.

Bring to the boil

I start by heating up the herbs in the vinegar. I cut the ginger root in slices. I do not bother to peel them. Then I add the cloves, peppercorns, salam leaves, sugar, and salt. I use one teaspoon of salt for my amount of beetroot.

I bring this to a gentle boil to bring the flavors together. I let this mixture simmer for 5 minutes. In the meantime, I fill my super-clean pots with diced beetroot.

Pour it

When my herb mixture is ready, I pour it steaming hot on the beets into the jars until everything is submerged. I add the leftover herbs in the pan by sticking them in every orifice possible. Then I place the lid on.

Flavorwise, I like to leave my acar beetroot jars closed for two weeks. I place my jars in a dark cool place (refrigerator is fine) and let the herbs do their job. You can also eat the acar right away, but the flavors will be not as profound.

And then when the time is right and the first snowflakes fall (as in the photo above) I open my acar beet out and eat it next to a creamy, spicy dish like a rendang. It will balance the flavors out.


This acar beetroot stays pretty sour. After a week or two it becomes less acidic. If you want to quicken this process, add two or three teaspoons of sugar. You eat an acar as a condiment. You only need a little bit (one tablespoon) for every meal. Selamat makan.

Want to see more pickled Indonesian recipes? Check out this link.

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