Achara (atsara) Achara (atsara)

Achara, or atsara, means pickled green papaya. Well, basically. Carrots, ginger, onions and bell peppers are added to the papaya to turn it into achara. The pickling solution–a mixture of vinegar, sugar and salt–preserves the papaya and the vegetables. In air-tight jars, achara will keep even without refrigeration. After the jar has been opened, however, it is best to refrigerate achara.

I only made enough achara for a meal. We had pork barbeque and achara is one of the best accompaniments for grilled meat or fish. The proportions in the following recipe is good as a side dish for 4-5 persons.


  • 1 green (unripe) papaya
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • rock salt
  • For the pickling solution :
  • 1 c. of strong vinegar
  • 11/8 c. of white sugar
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of powdered black pepper


  1. Peel the papaya and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Shred the papaya using a vegetable grater (similar to a cheese grater but with bigger holes). Sprinkle with about a tablespoonful of rock salt and toss well. Let stand for 15-20 minutes then squeeze out the juices.
  2. Peel and cut the carrot into florets.
  3. Seed the bell peppers and julienne.
  4. Peel the ginger and julienne.
  5. Toss the papaya and the vegetables together.
  6. Mix together the ingredients for the pickling solution except for the pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring to completely dissolve the sugar and salt. Cool. Pour over the papaya and vegetables, add the pepper and toss well. Let stand for about 30 minutes before serving.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


  1. says

    :cry:please!please sent me your atsara recipe,
    I tray that one time and we like it :wink:and I
    tell to my friend she said can you sent it to me
    but the copy of that recipe is lost I cant find it already:cry:so please,soIwill wait your reply with the recipe of your atsara.thanks so much :lol:

  2. Oskie Ord says

    According to your Achara recipe, Cool it before adding the Papaya and Vegetables.

    The question is How Cool or does it have to be cold before adding the Papaya??

  3. says


    I make great atsara, my Canadian friends say its so good, I have never ever seen it for sale in Canada, I would like to market it, make my own in jars and sell its, can you help me?

    So Long,

    Buena in Vancouver

  4. Jing says

    I once made atsara when I was in high school. I forgot the procedure how to do it again. Thanks for your website. I’ve made a delicious atsara today!

  5. says

    you’re welcome, jing. :)

    i don’t send recipes, anna. but you can click the link to page 2 for the recipe. there are two links. one above and another below the text of the entry… see them now?

  6. anne d. says

    I love achara so much, however after moving to other country I got hard time lookng for green papaya. can you recommend a substitute for papaya that is readily available.
    Tnx a lot!

  7. says

    hi connie, you have a simple recipe. my mom also cooks achara as an underground business, pag mi umoorder lang :) but the way she does the squeezing of papaya, that’s the hardest part. we even have to put it in a clean sack and do the “see-saw” (the sack underneath a thick wood) to extract the papaya juices.

    anne d., you can also use kalabasa. my mother tried it and it is good.

  8. marissa belarmino says

    is it still ok to prepare achara without boiling? will it spoil or turn moldy without boiling? how long will it keep without boiling?

  9. melisa says

    Hi po! Added info lang po. Kapag gumagawa kami ng achara we squeeze it a little tapos ibabalot po namin ng cloth at ini-spin dry namin. Mas dry sya so mas sisipsipin nya yung pickling solution. We also add pineapple chunks. Dun sa pickling solution naglalagay din po kami ng pineapple juice. According po sa byenan ko, mas longer yung shelf life nya if di na niluluto yung pickling solution basta refrigerated sya.

  10. says

    hi connie, i’m so intimidated by achara ewan ko ba. but you make it look so simple. i might just have the courage to make it. my hubby likes it with his pork bbq. will update you on the result.

  11. says

    i’m back! tried your recipe and it was great and way far better than the shop bought counterpart. I was surprised how easy it was. just added pineapple coz i love them. will never have to buy achara again. thanks connie!

  12. arlene says

    much better kung banglian muna papaya with hot water then sqeeze it, para maalis yung dagta…

  13. jlandersen says

    hi connie.i just wanna tell how useful your site is.i am a housewife here in denmark and my hubby likes to eat our filipino dishes.we usually hold a barbeque party in our summer house during this atchara recipes would be helping me a lot.our danish friends loves to taste filipino dishes so im giving a little twist this coming summer for our bbq also looking for a recipes of boat tarts especially how to make a great crust or pastry and of course the hubby tasted one when we were in vacation last year in the philippines and he loves and like it. at kinukulit akong mag bake ng ganun.i had tried to baked it once but the recipe ive found was not so good.can u in anyway post some of the recipes in your site?thanks and more power..and more infos to come….

  14. pataygutom says

    maybe you try radish as a substitute for papaya. meron ensalada na labanos ang gamit.

  15. josephvictorino says

    Pwede rin po substitute sa papaya yung sayote pero kelangan mas pino or mas maliliit pag grated.Try po ninyo.