Persian Mast o Khiar (Cucumber Yogurt Salad)

Tina Wasserman
Recipe by
Tina Wasserman

While Greek tsatsiki offers up a blend of refreshing cucumber, yogurt, and dill, the Persian version features the elegant and elaborate use of fresh herbs and fruits. And thinning this mixture with about 1 cup of water will give you an incredibly delicious cold soup!\.

Learn more about the history of Jewish Persian food and find additional recipes.

1 cup thick Greek yogurt—whole or 2%
1⁄4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1⁄4 cup golden or dark raisins, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 of 1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice (approximately 3⁄4 cup)
2 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely minced
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, finely minced
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely minced
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely minced
2 Tablespoons dried rose petals, crushed or minced (available at Middle Eastern markets)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional whole dried rose petals for garnish (optional)
1 Tablespoon finely ground walnuts for garnish (optional)
  1. Place the yogurt in a 2-quart bowl and stir until it’s smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Wipe the bowl edges as needed or pour the mixture into a serving bowl.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to blend.
  4. Just before serving, sprinkle on additional rose petals and ground walnuts if desired.
  5. Serve with soft Middle Eastern bread.
Additional Notes
  • Greek yogurt or Middle Eastern Labne is much thicker in consistency than American varieties of yogurt. When a recipe requires a thick yogurt base and Greek yogurt is not available, you can substitute sour cream.
  • Seeding a cucumber creates a less watery finished product. In this recipe, since you are working with thick Greek yogurt, removing the seeds is optional.