Pickled Tomato and Cucumber Chutney without vinegar

The turmeric (yellow root) turns this lovely Indonesian pickled tomato and cucumber chutney into a yellow colored dish. It’s vegetarian (no trassi -shrimp paste- goes in). This dish is originally from Purwokerto (

This dish is originally from Purwokerto (central Java) and is called Atjar Tanpa Tjuka.

This summery dish is easy to make, pretty fast and healthy too.

This recipe is enough for 3-4 people as a side dish and is done in 30 minutes.

Pickled Tomato and Cucumber Chutney without vinegar (Atjar Tanpa Tjuka – Purwokerto) #416 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 338.


1 large cucumber
5 medium tomatoes
1 tablespoon oil
juice of 1 lemon

Herbs and spices

5 shallots (not large onions) 
2 chopped cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of turmeric
5 lomboks (chilies)
4 teaspoons of sugar
Peel the cucumber, cut it lengthwise and remove the seed. Peel the shallots and cut them in half. Remove the seeds from the chilies and cut them lengthwise into thin strips of +/- 2 cm. Wash the tomatoes and cut them into fourths.
Rub garlic, turmeric, sugar, salt and pepper together and fry it in oil on a low heat. Then add the shallots and chilies. Mix it briefly. The shallots should not fall apart. Add the rest of the vegetables and mix thoroughly. Add the lemon juice in, bring the dish to the boil and then on the table immediately. This dish will not last long in the fridge as a normal atjar does.

I take out the seeds of the cucumber with a teaspoon. A teaspoon perfectly fits the stroke of seeds that needs to go.

I also deseed the chili peppers. It makes them less spicy.

Beb doesn’t mention to cut the cucumbers in smaller pieces but of course, that is necessary.

I mix garlic, turmeric, sugar, salt and pepper together in my mortar. It becomes a lovely dark yellow, sticky bumbu (herb-paste).

Now I stir-fry this bumbu in two tablespoons of oil. In the beginning, it is difficult to make it into a nice evenly fried paste, but after a while, the herb mix becomes tender and is easily stir-fried with the vegetables.

Now the vegetables can go in. I start with the chilies. The bumbu will cover everything with its lovely flavor and yellow color.

When all the veggies are in I add the lemon juice immediately. I bring it to the boil. I mix it once and then it is done and can be served ;-).

We eat this lovely atjar with an Indonesian meat dish and white rice, delicious! If you want to keep it completely vegetarian, choose one of the Indonesian eggs dishes on this blog.

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