Persian Yogurt and Cucumber Dip (Mast o Khiar)

4.75 from 4 votes

Fresh mast o khiar is a delicious Persian side dish sprinkled with sweet raisins and crunchy walnuts. It’s made with tangy yogurt and flavored with cool mint and bright, floral rose petals. It couldn’t be more refreshing — or easier to make!

overhead: bowl of mast o khiar with raisins and chopped nuts on top

Mast o khiar is a Persian cucumber salad often served as a side dish. Its thick, sour nature stimulates the appetite and is great when served with rice (like some crispy tahdig), hearty proteins, or Zaatar Bread (Manakish) pictured below.

Plus, I love an excuse to use Persian cucumbers. I also use it in shirazi salad — another kind of Persian cucumber salad — tabouleh with cauliflower, Mediterranean vegetable and chickpea salads, and fattoush bread salad.

overhead: Middle Eastern table with zaatar bread, persian cucumber yogurt dip, and glass of tea on woven placemat

While it’s quick to stir together, you do need to prepare Persian cucumber yogurt dip 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time so it can thicken and take on all of its herbal, tangy flavors. 

But I promise, the wait is worth it. Whether you’re serving mast o khiar as a simple Persian cucumber yogurt dip or a cooling dish on the side, its creamy texture and bold flavor will be the talk of the dinner table. I’ve even been known to scoop some on my morning toast!

Tip From Kevin

Golden Raisins or Sultanas

Sultanas and golden raisins are both dried grapes, but differ in color and taste. Sultanas are lighter in color and have a tangy, sweet flavor, while golden raisins are darker and sweeter with a slight caramelized taste. Both are versatile ingredients in cooking, baking, and snacking.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

(Be sure to check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities)

  • Yogurt – The most important thing is to choose an unflavored yogurt. Greek, traditional, non-dairy — they’re all fine as long as they’re plain! 
  • Persian Cucumbers These small, narrow cucumbers are perfect for salads, snacking, and any other use. They’re tender, have very few seeds, and have an amazingly crisp texture. English cucumbers are the next best substitute. 
  • Golden Raisins – Also known as go by sultanas, this is a personal favorite that I throw into Persian cucumber yogurt dip. They’re not traditional and can easily be left out, but add great texture and sweetness! 
  • Walnuts – These have a mild, earthy flavor and disrupt the smooth dip with an appetizing crunch. For another layer of flavor, toast the walnuts first!
  • Mint – Some recipes call for fresh mint, and some call for dried. Me? I always prefer fresh if I can help it — it has a brighter flavor and a beautiful presentation. But if you prefer dried, you can use it with no problems.  
  • Dried Rose Petals – Make sure you’re using food-grade petals! If you’ve never worked with rose petals before, they’re a real treat with a breathtaking aroma and bright taste. 
  • Garlic Powder & Salt – These ingredients add balance and sharp, salty flavors. Use them to season to taste before chilling.
closeup: persian cucumber salad in brown bowl

How to Make Mast o Khiar

  1. Combine Dip Ingredients. Place everything — other than the extra walnuts, raisins, and rose petals to use for a garnish — in a small bowl. Stir with a fork, whisk, or silicone spatula until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Refrigerate. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or ideally 1 hour for the dip to thicken and flavors to meld. 
  3. Garnish & Serve. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle the remaining walnuts, raisins, and rose petals on top of the dip.
  • Glass Bowl With Lid – Glass is my number one choice for storage. It’s easy to clean, doesn’t hold onto scents or dyes, and lasts as long as you take care of it. And when it comes with a lid, it’s an airtight container that seamlessly transitions from mixing to storage! 

Storing and Serving

Mast o khiar tastes best when it’s allowed to chill for at least 30 minutes. You can cut down on this chilling time by starting with chilled ingredients, but you’ll still want to give the mixed result some time for the flavors to really marry and meld.

Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. But Persian cucumber salad — or really any cucumber salad — will start to leech water after 3 days or so, watering down the yogurt.

closeup: serving spoon in bowl of mast o khiar

Frequently Asked Questions

How is mast o khiar different from tzatziki?

There are a few similarities between the two dishes, but one taste will tell you they’re very different. 

Tzatziki is thinner and milder in flavor than mast o khiar. It also usually contains a smattering of other seasonings — cayenne, vinegar, and pepper, for example.

Compare the two by checking out my own authentic recipe for tzatziki.

How are Persian cucumbers different from regular cucumbers?

Persian cucumbers are immediately different from the first look — they’re narrower, smaller, and have a thin, bumpy skin. The cucumbers we’re used to in the States are longer and have larger, watery seeds. They also don’t have as much flesh to work with and lack the same crisp bite. 

Using regular cucumbers in Persian cucumber yogurt dip will make it much more watery, thin, and runny. So use Persian or English cucumbers if at all possible!

What’s the best way to prevent cucumber salad from becoming soggy?

To extend the storage life of your Persian cucumber salad, you can salt the cucumbers before using them. The salt naturally draws the moisture from the flesh of the vegetable and can be discarded, along with the drained liquid.

If you employ this technique, hold off on adding the extra salt in this recipe and add only as much as needed after the dip chills.

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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


  • 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


  • 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.


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 image (and shown): mast o khiar persian cucumber yogurt salad


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


  1. Hi, Kevin! I am going to try this Persian recipe. I’ve never had it with raisins.
    Warmest regards,


  2. 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.