Jelatah: A simple pickled salad that packs a punch

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.

It is a cucumber-pineapple-salad-meets-pickle, and is deceptively easy to make, requiring only a 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 fresh pineapple
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
Simple ingredients for a delicious condiment.


Start by peeling and halving the cucumber, then slice thinly.

Don’t forget to remove the bitterness of the cucumber.

If using a whole pineapple, cut into eight segments and remove the core. Slice thinly.

Slice both chilies. There is no need to deseed if you want extra heat.

Peel and half the onions. Slice these thinly too.

Feeling lazy? You can also use a mandoline for super thin slices of cucumber, pineapple, chilli and onions.

Place the cucumbers, pineapple, onions and chilli in a large bowl. Add sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, and squeeze a whole lime into the mix.

Look at that beautiful colour!

Toss all the ingredients together. Refrigerate if you would like to serve it later.

Some hot rice is ideal to enjoy a salad such as this.

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 still be able to whip this up pretty easily for a little taste of home.

Some tips:

  • You can also use a mandoline to thinly and evenly slice the various 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.

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