Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber Recipe (Mast-o-Khiar | ماست و خیار)

Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber (Mast-o-Khiar) is a traditional Persian recipe that goes with just about anything! It is commonly eaten as an accompaniment to rice, stews and grilled meat, much like raita is eaten with Indian food.
Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber
Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber
Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber

Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber, or Mast-o-Khiar in Farsi, is a traditional Persian yoghurt recipe that goes with just about anything!

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Yoghurt is a must at Persian meals, and comes in various guises, like in Borani Laboo and Doogh. It is commonly eaten (or drunk) as an accompaniment to rice, stews and grilled meat, much like raita is eaten with Indian food.

Mast-o-Khiar makes a fantastic appetiser too, and you can serve it as a dip, with all the usual suspects, be it crisps, crackers, breadsticks or vegetable sticks. In this instance, it will be just like the Mediterranean tzatziki, a yoghurt sauce/dip known as different things all around the Med and Balkans.

What does Mast-o-Khiar mean?

  • Mast = yoghurt
  • Khiar = cucumber
  • Mast-o-Khiar = Yoghurt and Cucumber
Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber
Walnuts add a wonderful crunch

Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber Recipe

In its most basic form, you’ll have the chopped or grated cucumber stirred into the yoghurt, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I do this pretty often when I have Middle Eastern or South Asian food.

Moving on from that, still keeping it simple, many families add some dried mint to the mix, which makes it even more refreshing.

The next most common ingredients are walnuts and raisins.

Beyond that, you can let your taste and your imagination lead you. But always remember

less is more!

So what other ingredients can we use in Mast-o-Khiar?

  • Dried and ground edible rose petals (keep the whole ones merely as a light garnish)
  • Chopped shallots (or spring onions, scallions in American speak)
  • Finely chopped garlic
  • Sumac (not traditional, but oh, so good!)
  • Gound dried limes (limoo amani)
  • Fresh mint instead of dried (to me, fresh is much better than dried)
  • some sort of chilli – ground or flakes

Preferably, not all at once!

close up shot of Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber
Colourful too

Best Yoghurt for this Persian Yoghurt and Cucumber Recipe

Anything that’s thick and not too runny, like Greek yoghurt and Labneh. And half fat or no fat work perfectly well too.

What cucumber should you use for Mast-o-Khiar?

Honestly? Any kind will do. Persian, English, Kirby, Baby – whatever you usually use will work in this recipe. We’ve even used Cucamelons and lemon cucumbers, and they were simply awesome. I’m growing the latter two again this year. Let’s see if I can remember to do some photos for this recipe.

And now, shall we get our aprons on?

If you like the recipe and article, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfoo

Noushe jan! | !نوش جان

Lin xx

Recipes to Serve with Mast-o-Khiar

Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber

Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber Recipe (Mast-o-Khiar)

Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber (Mast-o-Khiar) is a traditional Persian recipe that goes with just about anything! It is commonly eaten as an accompaniment to rice, stews and grilled meat, much like raita is eaten with Indian food.
5 from 28 votes
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: dips, persian, summer recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 (4-6)
Calories: 165kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor
Cost: £1.70 ($2.15) for the whole recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain natural yoghurt
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp dried mint (or 1 handful fresh mint, chopped)
  • 1 handful walnuts coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground dried edible rose petals (optional)
  • large pinch salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Chop up the cucumber fairly small. If you want to grate them, be sure to squeeze them dry in paper towels after grating. Otherwise, the yoghurt will get watered down.
  • Mix everything up in a bowl, keeping a little of all the ingredients as a garnish. Taste, and add more salt and pepper, if you think it needs it. Or any of the other ingredients.
  • Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes for the flavours to develop. Can be made up to 2 hours ahead.
  • Serve as mentioned above, garnished with some of the same ingredients.

Fancy Borani Laboo?

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 38IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2mg

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14 thoughts on “Persian Yoghurt with Cucumber Recipe (Mast-o-Khiar | ماست و خیار)”

  1. 5 stars
    Such a beautiful yogurt dish, Azlin. You’ve decorated the Persian Yogurt with Cucumber very well, making it so tempting. A cooling and healthy dish. Dried rose petals, exotic in look and taste too.

    1. Chop it all up whole, the seeds are meant to be included. If you find it too watery, just squeeze everything up slightly in kitchen paper to remove excess water. But I don’t bother with that.

  2. Benyam Esfahani

    Thank you for this beautiful recipe and picture from my homeland. greetings from Iran!

  3. The crunchiness of cucumber and walnuts meet the creaminess of yogurt!
    I will most certainly enjoy this over rice, but the roast lamb leg picture below is looking at me, too!

    1. Hi Simon, you’ll be pleased to know that Waitrose stocks them, in those little round plastic pots under their Cooks Ingredients brand. Online – so many sources, including Amazon. Just do a search.

  4. Oh my goodness, I’ve never seen a yogurt dish look as classy as this! I’m making this today! The only thing I don’t have are the rose petals. But I see you’ve listed them as optional. Thanks Lin.

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