Chef's Recipes

O Tama Carey's rhubarb achcharu

This sweet and hot rhubarb achacharu, a Sri Lankan pickled vegetable mix made with mustard seeds and ginger, perfectly complements O Tama Carey’s black beef brisket recipe, or any other rich meat dish.

By O Tama Carey
  • Serves 6
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking

"Achcharu is a Sri Lankan pickled vegetable mix usually made with mustard seeds, ginger and an array of vegetables," says Carey. "This is a sweet and hot version, perfect with the brisket or any other rich meat dishes." Start this recipe a day ahead to chill and pickle the achcharu.
Pictured with O Tama Carey's cabbage mallung. 


  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 10 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 100 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 100 gm white sugar
  • 4 rhubarb stalks, trimmed, washed and cut into 7cm batons
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  • 1
    Heat mustard seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat until they start to pop (40-50 seconds). Transfer to a mortar, add ginger and 1 tsp sea salt flakes and pound to a fine, dry paste. Stir in remaining spices. Bring vinegar, sugar, spice mix and 100ml water to the boil in a small saucepan, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened (3-4 minutes).Keep liquid at a bare simmer.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over high heat. Toss rhubarb batons in a bowl with oil, then grill until char marks appear (3 minutes), turn and char other side. As rhubarb batons are ready, add them to the simmering liquid. When all have been added, remove saucepan from the heat. At this stage the rhubarb should still be quite firm. Cool in the liquid, then refrigerate overnight to chill and pickle (overnight). Rhubarb achcharu will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a good week or more. Serve at room temperature.


Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: O Tama Carey