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Bottled atchara at a Philippine supermarket
Atchara served as a side dish in the Filipino breakfast tosilog

Atchara (also spelled achara or atsara), is a pickle made from grated unripe papaya popular in the Philippines.[1] This dish is often served as a side dish for fried or grilled foods such as pork barbecue.



Atchara originated from Indian achar, which was transmitted to the Philippines via the acar of the Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.[2][3]


The primary ingredient is grated unripe papaya. Carrot slices, julienned ginger, bell pepper, onion and garlic make up the other vegetables. Raisins or pineapple chunks may be added, and chilis, freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, or whole peppercorns complete the mixture. These are then mixed in a solution of vinegar, sugar/syrup, and salt preserves.

The mixture is placed in airtight jars where it will keep without refrigeration, however once opened it is preferably kept chilled to maintain its flavour.[4]


Dampalit, pickled sea purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum)
  • Atcharang maasim (sour pickles) - is prepared in the same way as normal Atchara except that no sugar is added.[4]
  • Atcharang labóng (pickled bamboo shoots) - are prepared in the same way as Atchara, but use bamboo shoots instead of papaya.[5]
  • Atcharang dampalit (pickled sea purslane) - made from Sesuvium portulacastrum, called dampalit in Tagalog.[6][7]
  • Atcharang ubod (pickled palm hearts) - made from palm hearts, called ubod in Tagalog.[8]
  • Atcharang sayote (pickled chayote) - made from chayote, bell pepper, carrots, and ginger.[9][10]

See also


  1. Zabilka, G. (2007). Customs and Culture of the Philippines. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4629-1302-2. 
  2. Pickles Throughout History.
  3. A Brief History Of The Humble Indian Pickle.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dagoon (1997). Culinary Arts II. Rex Bookstore, Inc.. ISBN 978-971-23-2157-3. 
  5. Jesse D. Dagoon (1989). Applied nutrition and food technology. Rex Bookstore, Inc.. ISBN 978-971-23-0505-4. 
  6. Atsarang Dampalit. Provincial Government of Bulacan, Philippines.
  7. Atsarang Dampalit. Market Manila (May 25, 2009).
  8. Ubod / Heart of (Coconut) Palm. Market Manila (February 21, 2008).
  9. Chayote Pickles.
  10. Atsarang Sayote.