One of the defining characteristics of Persian cuisine is yogurt. Whether chicken-meat viand or tahdig yogurt is a flavorful addition. In this recipe yogurt is the main ingredient—it is called Maast-o Khiar or Persian Cucumber Yogurt. It is a healthy dip that is served alongside rice and meat.
It is also best served with bread. It is recommended for a rush dish because it is easy and quick to make. This dip is best served when refrigerated for a few hours. It is can be very refreshing especially when taken during summer. Besides, it can also be used as a salad dressing.
- 3 pieces English or Persian cucumber, peeled and cubed
- 1 32-ounce plain yogurt
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 finely chopped shallot
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp dried mint
- Mix the cucumber, yogurt, shallot, and garlic in a medium bowl.
- Stir to mix all ingredients. Season with dill and pepper.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour to blend the flavors of all ingredients.
- Some add spinach, raisins, or walnuts
- Other use herbs such as mint, tarragon, and oregano.
A modified version of Masst-o khiar is as a salad appetizer instead of a dip. Instead of mixing the cucumber in the mixture, cut the cucumber into a bite-size bowl-shaped. Scoop out the inside of the cucumber first. Then put an appropriate amount of the yogurt mixture on cucumber. Also, you may want to skip the ginger for more flavor.