Mast-o-Khiar ~ Persian Yogurt & Cucumber Soup
I don’t know about the rest of you, but it has been really really hot in Los Angeles. All I want to do is drink cold water and eat cold food. Cooking is not something that I look forward to in all honesty. Today’s post is one of those perfect meals that not only does not require any cooking but it is also so simple and fast to make. I have fond memories of my teenage years when my mom used to make this type of soup during hot summer days.
Mast-o-khiar is referred to both the soup and dip version of this dish. While they are both made with yogurt and cucumbers, I personally use different ingredients when making each dish. I will post the dip version in the near future.
2 Persian cucumbers
3 cups yogurt
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbps fresh mint (fine chopped)
Dried rose petals for garnish
salt & pepper
I would like to start this recipe by saying that for better results it is best to use Persian cucumbers. These are smaller than the regular cucumbers seen in grocery stores. Additionally, their skin is also much much thinner, and therefore, they can be eaten with their skin on. If using regular cucumbers then it is best to discard the middle part where the seeds are. A good alternate to Persian cucumbers is Japanese cucumbers. You can play around with the ratio of the ingredients to better suite your taste buds. The general rule of thumb for me is one Persian cucumber per person. This recipe is good for two people.
Here are out cast of characters. I am so excited to use the mint from my own garden. The snails every so often they do a number on my little plant, but it keeps on coming back.
This is an optional step depending on how you like your nuts. I always like to toast nuts as it not only brings out their flavor but it also makes them crunchy. You can toast your walnuts either in a toaster oven, in the actual oven, or in a pan. Just keep an eye on it because they burn quickly. This should take only a few minutes.
Here are them beauties! I love these cucumbers, I really do. Cut each cucumber in quarters lengthwise.
Now chop them up. I like my cucumbers somewhat chunky so that they are crunchy.
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
For this dish we want a soup consistency, so you can use any yogurt you want. I am somewhat picky about my yogurt, I don’t like it too tart or runny. If using yogurt purchased at a Persian or Middle Eastern store, before placing the yogurt in the mix make sure that you give it a nice stir in order to make it smooth so that it is not clumpy.
It’s is a little hard to see, but notice how the yogurt in the measuring cup is nice and smooth compared to the rest in the container? That’s what we want.
Mix everything together and adjust seasoning if needed. Some people like to add water to make it more soupy, but I personally don’t like it that way…
Garnish the top with some walnuts, raisins, and rose petals. On a very hot day you can even throw a couple of ice cubes in there. That’s is going to make it even more refreshing.
I love how every spoonful of Mast-o-khiar is filled with the cool and delicate taste of the cucumbers along with the sweetness of the raisins, nuttiness of the walnuts, and the refreshing taste of mint. What’s even better are the spoonfuls that catch the rose petals. YUM! Stay cool folks!