Cucumber Yogurt Salad (Mast o Khiar)

4.75 from 4 votes

This cucumber yogurt salad with nuts and raisins is a Persian dish called mast o khiar. Make this recipe for an easy side dish with dinner!

overhead image: bowl of Iranian mast o khiar (cucumber salad)

Cucumbers are used often in Persian cuisine, for soup, dips, and in dishes like shirazi salad and this one, mast o khiar

Because they’re both made with yogurt, cucumbers and dill, mast o khiar is often compared to Greek tzatziki, but they are not the same dish at all. Although delicious, the consistency of tzatziki is thinner, and the flavor pales in comparison to Persian cucumber yogurt salad..

In addition to dried or fresh mint, rose petals bring brightness to the Persian salad as well as an intoxicating aroma! For additional texture, this salad includes sweet golden raisins (also known as sultanas) and crunchy walnuts. While it can certainly  be used as a dip, mast o khiar is more often served as a side dish.

overhead image: Middle Eastern table with zaatar bread, mast o khiar, and glass of tea on woven placemat

Cucumber Yogurt Salad – Ingredient Notes

  • Cucumbers– Persian cucumbers are much smaller than traditional varieties, averaging about 4 inches in length. They have thin, bumpy skin and very few seeds.

    Like most other varieties Persian cucumbers have a slightly sweet flavor and make a delicious “no prep needed” lunchbox snack.

    English cucumbers are a good substitute for Persian cucumbers.
  • Yogurt– Use plain flavored yogurt. Traditional, Greek, and even non-dairy yogurts work fine; just choose one that suits your preferences.
  • Golden raisins (Sultanas)– Although you won’t find raisins in all mast o khiar recipes, I like the sweetness and texture they add to the salad.
  • Walnuts– Chopped nuts are another optional ingredient in the cucumber yogurt salad. If you like texture in a salad, you’ll be glad you added them.
  • Mint– As with most any other herb, using fresh rather than dried is my preference. Not only does fresh mint offer brighter flavor, but it also makes a beautiful garnish. Dried mint can be used if you prefer it.
  • Dried rose petals– All roses are edible, but be sure that the variety you use is free of pesticides and fungicides. To be sure that they are safe to be eaten, look for organic food grade dried rose petals.

Notes and Serving Suggestions

One of my favorite things about this salad is that it’s really quick to throw together at the last minute.

Pro Tip

The flavor will be best if you give the salad at least 30 minutes to chill in the fridge before serving. If you’re pinched for time and your ingredients are cold, it’ll be fine.

Storage and Shelf Life

Stored in a covered container in the fridge, cucumber yogurt salad will keep for up to 5 days. However, after 3 days, the water in the Persian cucumbers will begin to leech, watering down the salad.

closeup image of Persian cucumber yogurt salad in brown bowl

What to Serve with Cucumber Yogurt Salad

This side dish is quite healthy and it goes well with almost any protein. I like to serve it with koobideh kabobs, grilled or roast chicken, and even kookoo sabzi for breakfast!.

If you’re looking for a quick lunch, serve it in a pita or barbari bread. It would be especially delicious tucked into a boat-shaped loaf of Georgian cheese bread or eaten with manakeesh, as pictured here.

serving spoon in bowl of cucumber yogurt salad
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overhead image: bowl of Iranian mast o khiar (cucumber salad)

Cucumber Yogurt Salad (Mast o Khiar)

4.75 from 4 votes
Creamy mast o khiar is a refreshing yogurt and cucumber dip with garlic, herbs, walnuts, and raisins. Enjoy it as a side dish or appetizer!
Servings: 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 Persian cucumbers cut into small dice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (save some for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (save some for garnish)
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried rose petals (food grade) crushed (save some for garnish)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Instructions 

  • Combine all in a small bowl, stirring to combine. Chill covered in refrigerator for 1 hour for the flavors to meld.
  • Sprinkle reserved walnuts, golden raisins and rose on top for garnish prior to serving salad.
  • You can store in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 316IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: salads
Cuisine: Iranian, Middle Eastern, Persian
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled Pinterest image (and shown in bowl): Persian Mast O Khiar

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I loved the flavors, textures, tangy to sweet and crunchy. This has it all. I gave it 4 stars because the Greek yogurt was too thick in this.