Recipes

How to Make Persian Yogurt Dip | “Mast-o Khiar”

With the weather warming up in Turkey, we have naturally changed our dinners to reflect the changing weather. Less on the heavy, hot dishes, more on the light and refreshing. This includes a Persian staple: mast-o khiar – which, if my Farsi is correct, translates to yogurt with cucumbers.

If you’ve ever tasted Greek tzatziki sauce, this is similar but, thanks to the addition of dried mint and dill, (and some really fun toppings), it feels a little more elevated.

Mast-o khiar can be used as a dip for fresh veggies and bread, as a sauce over salad or meat, or eaten straight from the bowl by the spoonful. Persians use yogurt during mealtimes to cool down spicy foods, balance out any richness, and cleanse their palates.

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In this recipe, I used a mixture of plain full-fat Greek yogurt and a fat-free yogurt because it’s what I had in my fridge. Although Persian yogurt tastes much different than Greek – my mother-in-law makes her own – I want to keep things simple here. You can use whatever plain yogurt you’d like but a thicker one is best. We’re adding cucumbers, which are pretty watery so the yogurt will thin out a bit anyway.

The addition of dill and mint is a must! If you’d like to go all out and use fresh herbs, go for it (a 3:1 ratio is a good rule of thumb if you’re going to go this route). But I like to keep things easy and accessible so dried works really well here. There are tons of options for toppings (walnuts, raisins, dried rose petals, more dried mint, more fresh cucumber) and really adds to the dish. I’d suggest picking at least two to try.

Mast-o khiar pairs great with my Persian salad and Persian potato patties.  There! Make all three and you’ve got yourself a great refreshing meal – not too late to celebrate the Persian New Year, Nowruz.

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Persian Yogurt Dip: Mast-o Khiar

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups yogurt
1-2 medium cucumbers, finely diced (you should end up with about 1/2 – 3/4 cup total)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried mint
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Golden raisins (optional)
Walnuts, chopped (optional)
Dried rose petals (optional)

METHOD:

 1. In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, dill, mint, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
2. Transfer to a serving dish, if you’re feeling fancy. Sometimes I just mix and serve everything directly from the yogurt container. If you’re not serving right away, keep it refrigerated – it’ll taste even better the longer it sits.
3. Just before serving, add toppings. Yogurt dip can keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Nooshe-jan!

Other Delicious Recipes:
How to Make Persian Sesame Brittle
How to Make a Simple and Refreshing Persian Salad
How to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves: Persian Dolma (Dolmeh Barge Mo)
Easy Carrot Jam | How to Make Persian “Morabaye Haveej”
How to Make Persian Potato Patties | “Kookoo Sibzamini”
How to Make Persian Chai

Recipes

How to Make a Simple and Refreshing Persian Salad

This simple and refreshing Persian salad is a great way to use up those fresh summer vegetables and makes a tasty light side dish to any meal!

Here’s how to say “salad” in Farsi: sahlahd (hint: it’s pronounced like the English word “salad” just spoken a little more slowly and more drawn out. Look at you, speaking Farsi already!).

Tomatoes and cucumbers are a staple at any Middle Eastern table for any meal. Diced up along with onion and dried mint makes for a delicious addition to any lunch or dinner.

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It’s super simple to make; I even felt a little silly writing out the directions because it’s so straightforward. It’ll pair well with really anything, but I suggest: How to Make Persian Potato Patties | “Kookoo Sibzamini”. 

Alright, here’s how to put it all together!

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INGREDIENTS

2 English cucumbers, diced small
1 large heirloom tomato, diced small
1 small red onion, diced small
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried mint
pinch of salt

METHOD

1. Place diced cucumbers, tomato, and onion in a bowl
2. Drizzle lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar over the vegetables
3. Sprinkle the dried mint and salt and mix everything together
4. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (2 – 4 hours is best)

MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES:
How to Make Persian Chai
How to Make Persian Potato Patties | “Kookoo Sibzamini”
Easy Carrot Jam | How to Make Persian “Morabaye Haveej”
How to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves: Persian Dolma (Dolmeh Barge Mo)

Persian carrot jam (1)

Recipes

How to Make Persian Potato Patties | “Kookoo Sibzamini”

My love for potatoes has always been pretty strong. Mashed, scalloped, baked, roasted, and French, I didn’t know that this humble root veggie could get any better – that is, until I married a Persian.

Persians always seem to know how to take things to the next level. From the elaborate, poetic Farsi language (before saying goodbye, my husband will end any run-of-the-mill phone call with ghorbunet, which translates to “I will sacrifice myself for you”), to their dancing, parties, and picnics, Persians certainly know how to kick it up a notch. Food, and specifically the potato, is no exception.

Enter Persian kookoo sibzamini (say that 5 times fast!)It’s basically potato pancakes fried in oil. I didn’t even know it was possible to mash potatoes into patties and fry them! My potato world expanded when my mother-in-law made these for my homeschool kiddos for lunch one day. This was before I met my husband or even knew he existed. Looking back, I’m pretty sure my mother-in-law was strategic in making kookoo as a way to lure me into her family. I can’t prove it for sure, but either way, it worked.

The best way to eat these, according to my husband, is with fresh bread, tomatoes, and yogurt. It is popular for a lunch or a light dinner and is a favorite among children.

  • Servings: 2
  • Print

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A delicious gluten-free, vegetarian dish perfect for a light lunch, a side for dinner, or stuck into sandwiches and lunch boxes the next day

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium potatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of cooking oil
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes in large pot with skins until fork tender
  2. Dump water and allow potatoes to cool, then remove skins
  3. Grate potatoes into a large bowl using a cheese grater
  4. Add in garlic salt, turmeric, dill, and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed
  5. Place potato mixture into the refrigerator for 10-20min to firm up
  6. Allow oil to heat in a large skillet
  7. Once potatoes are cool, add in the egg and mix with hands or a spatula
  8. With your hands, form potatoes into palm size patties and place in the skillet with hot oil
  9. When potato patties are golden around the bottom edges, it’s time to flip
  10. Remove potato patties from oil with slotted spoon and let cool

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