"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Food for Hot Weather: Mast-O-Khiar – Persian cucumber and yogurt soup

by Julie on August 20, 2012

in Lunch, Vegetarian

Oh holy crap when will this end?

The sticky, hateful dregs of summer. Third week of relentless heat and humidity and me with only ceiling fans. Two weeks still before school starts. The place is a mess and the kids are bored and I can’t concentrate long enough to even write a blog post.

But then I came across this: Persian cucumber and yogurt soup.

Cool down! Cool down!

In Farsi that’s Mast O Khiar, which I have no idea how to pronounce…Mastocard? Never mind.  It’s got yogurt and walnuts and mint and raisins and cuckes, and it’s so good I might just be able to bear life until the first day of school…

Simple. Cooling. Yummy. Best of all, no need to turn on the stove. Here’s the recipe (courtesy of the My Persian Kitchen blog). Everything here you can get at Trader Joe’s, including:

chopped persian cucumbers

Two Persian Cucumbers, diced finer than I have here…


Persian cucumbers are smaller and thinner skinned than your standard American-style cucumber. Tangier too. More tang.

Trader Joe's Greek Style Plain Yogurt

Three cups of this. Or your favorite Middle-Eastern style yogurt.


1/2 cup walnuts (if you want to toast them, go ahead. They’ll have more flavor, but you have to turn on a heat source in your kitchen…


…which, if you don’t have AC, might be a trade-off you’re not willing to make. But the flavor really does pop big if you toast for a few minutes…)

and don’t forget the 1/2 cup of raisins…

…because they’re the plump little sweet that throws this whole thing over the edge…

Throw all of these ingredients into a bowl and salt and pepper to taste (dry stuff first, then the yogurt). Add:

2 tbps fresh mint (finely chopped)

So hot even my mint dried up…you will have better mint than this of course

…And dried rose petals for garnish

Trader Joe’s does not sell rose petals, though.

The result?

Crunchy fresh minty sweet awesome sauce!

Yeah, yeah yeah. It’s nuts and yogurt and cucumber. But it is REALLY tasty and refreshing and did I mention crunchy and delicious (especially if you just go ahead and toast them walnuts). Plus it sounds all exotic if you use the Persian name for it. It’s worth the 10 minutes it will take to assemble and impress your friends and family.

Will the kids eat this? Persian kids might. Mine balked. But that’s only because they haven’t actually tried it yet. And they will. They will…

Stay tuned…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie Pettit August 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Yum! Think I’ll make this tonight. I wonder if rose water can be used if I can’t find rose petals.


Julie August 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I would think a tiny little splash for aroma might work….seriously, this was way better than I expected. The flavors all complement each other – the toasted walnuts, cucumbers and raisins and mint…in tangy yogurt….I devoured it. I know the kids would probably like it if they’d only agree to taste it, the cretins….


Ann Spivack August 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Nice. I’ll be making it this weekend with “Color Magic” rose petals. (Shocking pink.)


Julie August 30, 2012 at 7:46 am

In that case I’ll be right up…;-


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