Yogurt is almost a must (ironic, as yogurt is ‘mást‘ in Farsi, pronounced like ‘must’) at a Persian/Iranian meal/dinner table. There are many varieties of yogurt dishes in Persian cuisine.
I have already introduced two of them, borani’e esfenaj (yogurt with spinach) and mást’o musir (yogurt and Persian shallots). This time, I have made mast’o khiyar (yogurt with cucumber), an elaborate version, where yogurt is mixed with chopped cucumber, mint, dill, chopped nuts and raisins. The simpler day-to-day version is just yogurt, cucumbers, with or without diced onion and fresh or dried mint for fresh taste.
There are similar dishes with little variations in other cuisines, i.e. Indian raita, Greek tzatziki, Iraqi jajeek. And, water is added to make a cold soup, i.e. Turkish cacık, Bulgarian and Serbian tarator.
Mast'o Khiyar • ماست و خیار • Yogurt with Cucumber
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• 2½ cups unflavored, whole milk plain yogurt, better partially drained (low-fat may be used)
• 200 g/ 2 Persian cucumbers, peeled and diced small
• 10 g/ 2 Tbsp/ 2 stems sliced scallions -or- onion diced small
• 1 or 2 small cloves garlic, pressed/mashed (I ended up using 2)
• 1 Tbsp chopped, fresh mint (¼ tsp dried mint flakes may be used)
• 1 Tbsp chopped, fresh dill weed (optional)
• 40 g/ ¼ cup raisins
• 50 g/ ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
• ¼ tsp salt, or to taste
• 1/8 tsp ground black pepper to taste
• optional garnish: for aroma and color, a few pieces dried rose buds/petals -or- fresh, edible organic rose pedals (I used ground rose pedals I had, which were meant for spice mix, unfortunately not red.)
If planning to garnish: Save strips of cucumber peels, a sprig or two of mint, dill weed, some pieces of raisins, walnuts, in addition to dried/fresh rose buds/petals.
◊ In a serving bowl, combine all ingredients. Garnish decoratively. Refrigerate to chill and serve as a side dish or with nan as appetizer.
~ Noushe jan • نوش جان ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?