Mast o Khiar Persian Yogurt and Cucumber Dip

4.97 from 30 votes
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Mast o Khiar is a traditional Persian yogurt and cucumber dip that is light and flavorful. This tasty dip is ready in 15 minutes and can be served with main dishes or as an appetizer with some chips or pita bread.

Mast o Khiar is a traditional Persian yogurt and cucumber dip that is light and flavorful.


 

Persian cuisine is full of tasty recipes that are so diverse and seasonal. Every item in our dishes and on the table is there for a reason. One key item in Persian cuisine is yogurt and it’s used in many ways such as Persian cold yogurt soup or a healthy appetizer such as borani esfenaj (Persian spinach dip). And, today, we are going to check out mast o khiar, another delectable Persian recipe using yogurt.

Why this recipe works

“Mast” means yogurt and “khiar” means cucumber, therefore “mast o khiar” means yogurt and cucumber. Really, it’s that simple! The basic version of this Persian yogurt and cucumber dip is made of only these two ingredients plus salt, pepper and sometimes dried mint. Just like Persian yogurt beet dip (borani laboo) this recipe adds a lot of color to your table and is pretty pleasing to look at.

This Persian yogurt dip is a staple at Persian tables and is usually served with main dishes such as ghormeh sabzi, lubia polo, gheimeh or adas polo (Persian lentil mixed rice). It’s a light side dish that can accompany every meal and can also be used as a sauce for grilled chicken or beef.

Yogurt and cucumber is a cooling and refreshing combination that is very popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. This The flavors are similar to Greek tzatziki, creamy cucumber salad and Turkish cacik since they all have the same base. 

This cucumber dip is flavored with raisins and walnuts.

Ingredients

To make this yogurt dip we need cucumbers, yogurt, walnuts, raisins, rose petals and dried mint.
  • Cucumbers: Small and seedless cucumbers or ones that have very few seeds like Persian cucumbers are ideal for this yogurt and cucumber dip. However, if those are not available, you can use English cucumber and simply scoop out the seeds before chopping them.
  • Yogurt: Creamy whole milk yogurt made with cow or sheep’s milk work best for this recipe. You can also use Greek yogurt or low fat yogurt.
  • Dried mint: It adds good aroma and flavor to the dish. It cannot be substituted with fresh mint.

Instructions

  • Prepare the main ingredient – chop the cucumbers into small pieces. Mix them with salt, pepper and dried mint.
  • Mix in the yogurt – Add in the yogurt and give it a nice stir. Next, add in chopped walnuts and raisins.
  • Final touches – Top with some more dried mint, walnuts, raisins and dried rose petals. Chill in the fridge for thirty minutes before serving. Serve it in a large bowl or individual small bowls.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Let it sit in the fridge for a few minutes before serving.

Serving suggestion

Mast-o-khiar can be served as an appetizer with pita chips, pita bread, naan or lavash bread or as part of a Persian appetizer platter. We love serving this yogurt dip as a side dish with grilled chicken, beef shish kabob or lamb. It’s also great with mixed rice dishes such as lubia polo or chicken and rice.

Top Mast o Khiar with walnuts, raisins and rose buds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store this dip?

Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Can I use non-dairy yogurt?

Yes, you can use non-dairy yogurt as long as it’s not flavored.

Can I leave out the rose petals?

Yes, the edible rose petals are for decoration and they add some flavor to mast o khiar. However, it’s an optional addition and can be left out.

Notes and tips

  • The basic mast o khiar recipe calls for yogurt, cucumbers, salt, dried mint and sometimes pepper. If you want it to be more flavorful, use this recipe with walnuts and raisins.
  • We always use walnuts and raisins in this Persian yogurt dip because these two ingredients have warm natures whereas yogurt and cucumbers have cold nature. Mixing all these ingredients together helps achieve a sense of balance.
  • For more flavor, add some garlic powder to the yogurt dip.
  • To make this dish, I usually chop the cucumber into small pieces, but some grate the cucumbers and that works too. Be aware that the dip might become watery after chilling in the fridge. If you’re grating the cucumbers, squeeze them and discard the excess water before mixing it with yogurt.
This Persian Yogurt Dip goes perfectly with grilled meat and rice dishes.

More dip and spread recipes

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4.97 from 30 votes

Mast o Khiar – Persian Yogurt and Cucumber Dip

Mast o Khiar is a traditional Persian yogurt and cucumber dip that is light and flavorful. It's ready in 15 minutes and can be served with main dishes or as an appetizer with some chips or pita bread.
Prep: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 4 cups Plain Greek Yogurt , See Note #1
  • 2 cups Chopped Cucumber, See Note #2
  • 2 tbsp Dried Mint
  • 1 tsp Powdered Dried Rose Petals
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Raisins
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions 

  • Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. 
  • Stir well until all the ingredients are well combined. 
  • Refrigerate the yogurt dip for 30 minutes. 

Notes

  1. You can use full fat, low fat or nonfat plain Greek Yogurt. You can also use European yogurt which has a little more sour flavor. 
  2. Use seedless cucumbers like Persian or mini cucumbers. 
  3. The basic Mast o Khiar recipe calls for yogurt, cucumbers, salt, dried mint and sometimes pepper. If you want it to be more flavorful, use this recipe with walnuts and raisins. The reason that we always use walnuts and raisins in this Persian yogurt dip is because these two ingredients have warm natures whereas yogurt and cucumbers have cold nature. Mixing all these ingredients together helps balancing this dip.
  4. For more flavor, add some garlic powder to the yogurt dip.
  5. To make Mast o Khiar, I usually chop the cucumber into small pieces, but some grate the cucumbers and that works too. Be aware that the dip might become watery after chilling in the fridge, so, if you’re grating the cucumbers, make sure to squeeze them and discard the excess water before mixing it with yogurt.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 372mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 139IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 260mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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4.97 from 30 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




35 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    First of all, what a GORGEOUS recipe. Second of all, it’s DELICIOUS. We had it with some pita bread and it was a wonderful snack.

  2. 5 stars
    This stuff is amazing! I love all the contrasting flavors and textures. I have never had anything like it before. I’ll be making it again.

  3. 5 stars
    This dip was amazing! I had never tried anything like this with dried mint in it, it was so flavorful! So good with pita bread.

  4. 5 stars
    Fabulous recipe. We made this last night to serve with naan bread and it was a hit! Will definitely make this again.

  5. 5 stars
    Yours is way too pretty to eat! I left out the rose petals as I couldn’t find them in time for dinner, but I made fresh naan for the dip, the raisin-walnut-cucumber flavors are a huge hit in my house!