This yogurt and cucumber dip, known as Mast-o-Khiar in Persian, is made from cucumbers, yogurt, and mint. It’s similar to tzatziki and raita.
Sweetened with golden raisins and perfumed with rose petals, this creamy dip is served with flatbread or rice or lamb on the tables of Iranian families.–James Oseland
WHAT IS MAST-O-KHIAR?
Mast-o-khiar. It’s Persian for cucumber and yogurt, and yes, it’s what you get here. But that’s an overly simplistic summary of this traditional Middle Eastern dip. True, mast-o-khiar is not unlike Greek tzatziki or Indian raita, although this traditional rendition ups the ante with rose petal leaves and golden raisins. Toasted walnuts are another terrific addition if you like a little crunch with your creaminess. And yes, Greek yogurt works well in this recipe. As for how to dispatch this dip, that’s entirely at your discretion.
Yogurt and Cucumber Dip ~ Mast-o-Khiar
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and add enough warm water to cover. Set aside until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Drain the raisins and stir almost all of them into the bowl of garlic along with the yogurt, mint, and cucumber. Garnish with the remaining raisins and the rose petals, if using.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is fantastic served on grilled flatbread. The flavors blended well together. It’s creamy but has a great crunch from the cucumbers and a touch of chew from the raisins. It’s cool-tasting but has a nice garlicky hint of heat. I’m not a huge fan of mint but found the addition of a tablespoon of fresh mint refreshing. It comes together very quickly and can be served immediately or a little later. This is a great sauce, dip, or sandwich condiment. It’d also be lovely on grilled chicken. It goes well on just about anything.
I’ve long been a fan of cucumber raita, a wonderful Indian condiment. So when I came across this Iranian version, my interest was piqued. The most surprising quality about this dish is the golden raisins. I was initially hesitant about the addition of them, as I’m not usually fond of raisins in recipes. However, I found they added a subtle sweetness and great texture to the tangy yogurt mixture, making them pertinent. This dish would do well next to almost any meat as well as on its own with flatbread. I used fresh mint instead of dried, as I feel the flavor is far superior. All in all, this was a delicious dish that I plan to make again very soon.
Originally published July 16, 2013