Mast o Khiar is a staple in Persian cuisine. It's a refreshing cucumber and yogurt dip that pairs perfectly on the side of many dishes! Adding a big dollop of this dip will take any dish to another level!
I absolutely love Mast o Khiar! I grew up eating it with almost every Persian dish. To describe it, it's a combination of crunchy cucumbers which are diced and folded through creamy yogurt and seasoned with dried mint and walnuts….Yum!!
The name literally translates in Farsi to Yogurt (mast) and Cucumber (khiar). It consists of 4 ingredients and it's crazy easy to make! Mast o Khiar is also extremely healthy too which makes it even better!
You can't go to a Persian dinner without seeing this on the table. It's a staple just like our very popular Shirazi Salad and crunchy Tahdig of course.
The refreshing cucumber yogurt dip tastes so good with many various recipes and Persian rice dishes. Some of my favorites to pair it with are Lubia Polo which is a green bean rice and Khoresh Bademjan which is an eggplant stew.
Many other cultures also have a version of yogurt and cucumber dip. Some examples are Indian Raita, Greek Tzatziki and Turkish Cacik. All are similar and different in their own ways. Mast o khiar is the Iranian version in which we don't add any garlic unlike a lot of other recipes.
Table of Contents
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Healthy and Nutritious. Mast o Khiar is not only delicious but its super healthy too! High in protein and probiotics from the yogurt and nutrients from the cucumbers, walnuts and mint
- Quick and Easy. You only need 4 ingredients to make this popular dish! Great when you are short in time and you need a quick and yummy side dish
- Versatile. Mast o Khiar is a versatile condiment that you can serve with so many recipes! It's perfect as an appetizer to dip with crackers or pita bread or amazing as a side dish to many Persian and also non Persian dishes
- Adaptable. You can easily also make this recipe vegan too! Use a plant based yogurt and you are good to go. Some recipes call for raisins to be added but its traditionally made without them
Ingredients to make Mast o Khiar
- Cucumbers are one of the star ingredients! I recommend using Persian cucumbers or Lebanese cucumbers if you can. They are extra crunchy and less watery than regular cucumbers.
If you can't get your hands on them, you can of course use regular or English cucumbers too. If they are extra watery or have too many seeds, you can disregard the seeds
- Yogurt is of course the second key ingredient! Any plain yogurt that is unflavored will be ok to use. I personally prefer using Greek yogurt as its high protein and probiotics and it has a thicker consistency. You can also use a plant based yogurt to keep this recipe vegan such as a soy based dairy free yogurt
- Dried mint is very popular in Persian cooking. Dried mint brings a subtle herbal note which is also fresh and complements the cucumber and yogurt beautifully. Fresh herbs can of course be used too however traditionally not made with fresh mint.
Dill is also a great substitute too
- Walnuts are chopped finely and folded through the dip. They give an extra cruch with a nutty flavor that pairs so well! It also adds extra protein too
- Garnish is commonly extra chopped walnuts, dried mint and edible dried rose petals which make it look extra pretty with the pop of pink! You can buy them at your local Persian supermarket or Middle Eastern or Indian market possibly.
It's also common to add raisins or sultanas in mast o khiar which adds sweetness. My family don't usually do this but it's of course made slightly different across households and regions in Iran
How to make Mast o Khiar (Persian Cucumber Yogurt Dip)
Making this staple Persian dip takes no time at all. Here are my simple to follow steps.
- Chop cucumbers into small cubes
- In a large bowl add yogurt, chopped cucumbers, walnuts and dried mint and sea salt. Mix to combine and garnish with a sprinkle of edible rose petals, walnuts and dried mint
Tips and Tricks
- Use Persian or Lebanese cucumbers. They are extra crunchy and less watery than regular cucumbers. You can use regular or English cucumbers too. If they are extra watery or have too many seeds, you can disregard the seeds
- Chop cucumbers in similar sized pieces for an even texture
- Use good quality plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. Don't use any flavoured yogurt as it will alter the taste
Yes, finely chop fresh mint leaves and add them to the yogurt mixture, however it's traditionally made with dried mint
It complements grilled meats, rice dishes, and as a dip for veggies or pita bread
Yes, you can use a plant based yogurt such as a soy based dairy free yogurt
Mast o Khiar is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. I don't recommend freezing as the texture of the yogurt will change when thawed.
More Easy Sauces
- Vegan Tzatziki
- How to Make Pesto
- Caesar Salad Dressing
- Peanut Sauce
- Miso Dressing
- Vegan Gravy
- Gyoza Dipping Sauce
More Persian Recipes
- Barbari Bread (Persian Flatbread)
- Persian Ice Cream
- Shirazi Salad
- Persian Patties (Kotlet)
- Persian Eggplant Dip
- Persian Rice with Crispy Tahdig
- Khoresh Bademjan (Eggplant Stew)
- Sabzi Polo (Persian Herb Rice)
I love seeing your creations and remakes, so be sure to rate the recipe, comment and share your Mast o Khiar (Persian Cucumber Yogurt Dip) photo on Instagram so I can share the love!
Mast o Khiar (Persian Cucumber Yogurt Dip)
- 2 medium cucumbers (preferably Persian cucumbers)
- 500 g plain yogurt (I’ve used Greek yogurt)
- 2 tablespoon dried mint
- Handful walnuts chopped into small pieces
- Salt to taste
- Chop the cucumbers into small cubes. I prefer to leave the skin on but you can peel them if you prefer
- In a large bowl add the yogurt and then add the cucumbers, walnuts and dried mint and sea saltMix together well and ensure to taste for seasoning and adjust if needed