Achara de Singkamas (pickled turnips)

I brought a few pieces of singkamas or jicama from my last trip to Zamboanga, Philippines almost a month ago. They were intended for pickling or achara as we call it in vernacular Chavacano. It’s amazing how long these veggies could last stored in a cool dry place, we did not even have to refrigerate them! Achara is one of my son’s favorite. He would eat it with fried rice or just plain.

Anyhow, I had the chance to make them today. From the 5 pieces of medium sized singkamas or jicama, I was able to yield 3 jars of pickles. As usual, it has the right amount of tang, sweetness and spiciness. It went well with our lunch of fried fish and rice, yum!

I opted to use Indian garlic  as they are  spicier and more aromatic. I also used a combination of ginger, turmeric and Indian mango ginger to render that much needed zing and pretty yellow color. I cut the carrots into florets for my son although he doesn’t need prodding to eat veggies. It makes the jar look prettier though. You can adjust the amount of sugar and salt according to your preference. I like mine a little bit on the sweet side.


5 medium singkamas, chopped into 1 inch strips

2 medium carrots cut into florets

1/2 capsicum, cut into 1 inch strips

1 head of Indian garlic, pieces peeled and kept whole

1 cup of  ginger, turmeric and mango ginger strips

1 cup of raisins

1 cup canned pineapple tidbits

4 cups coconut vinegar

2 cups refined sugar

1-2  tbsp salt

1 tbsp whole black peppercorns


1. Have jar containers ready. They should be washed, sterilized and air dried.

2. Wash the vegetables and pat them dry. Chop them into desired pieces. I prefer them in small bitesized pieces as mentioned above.

2. Gather all required ingredients and set them aside.

3. In a stainless pot, boil the vinegar with salt. Once boiled for at least 3 minutes, remove from heat and stir in sugar and set aside to cool.

4.  Assemble ingredients unto jars. I personally like to place them in alternate order to distribute the flavors evenly and also later, one can get a little of everything in one or two scoops.

5. Pour in cooled but still warm vinegar solution and cover jars. Refrigerate at least for a couple of hours before serving.

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