Jelatah – sweet, sour, fresh and spicy all rolled into one
Jelatah is a hybrid condiment normally served with nasi beriyani or nasi tomato, although this is not a hard and fast rule. A cucumber-pineapple salad meets pickle, and is deceptively easy to make and requires few ingredients. Unlike most pickles, jelatah does not need to rest for hours or overnight, although it can, if you want to. Despite pickling, jelatah retains a fresh flavour and crunch that goes well with just about any rice dish.
- 1 cucumber
- 500g pineapple
- 2 red onions
- 1 red chili
- 1 green chili
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
Start by peeling and halving the cucumber, then slice them thinly.
If using a whole pineapple, cut it into 8 segments and remove the core. Slice thinly.
Slice both chilies. There is no need to deseed them if you want some extra heat.
Peel and half the onions. Slice these thinly too.
Put the cucumbers, pineapple, onions and chili into a large bowl. Add sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, and squeeze a whole lime into the mix.
Toss all the ingredients together. Refrigerate if you would like to serve it later.
Besides being simple and super delicious, one of the best things about jelatah is that the ingredients are fairly common and available across most of the world. So even if you’re living abroad, you’ll be able to whip this up pretty easily for a little taste of home.
- You can also use a mandoline to thinly and evenly slice the ingredients. Don’t go too fast though as mandolines have been known to nick a finger or two or a million. The mandoline attachment of a food processor is also a convenient alternative.
- If you don’t know what we mean by removing the bitterness of a cucumber, this is how you do it: slice one or both ends of a cucumber (about 1 to 2 cm) and rub the exposed portion of the main cucumber against the exposed end of the cucumber you sliced off until you see a thick white foam appear. Continue rubbing until no more foam develops.
- We used white rice vinegar, but any natural white vinegar will do.