Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip

The prettiest dip in my repertoire - my take on the Iranian preparation of Mast-o-Khiar (yogurt and cucumber). I use lots of fresh herbs, dried rose petals, toasted walnuts and a pop of added color and tartness from dried cranberries.

Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip

Mast-o-khiar, it's the prettiest dip in my repertoire. I've been revisiting it all summer, and I wanted to be sure you didn't miss it. It's a simple herbed-out yogurt base finished with dried fruit, rose petals, toasted walnuts, and a slick of the best olive oil you've got. A real show stopper. This version has drifted away from the traditional Iranian preparation of Mast-o-Khiar (yogurt and cucumber), which often uses dried mint and raisins, but this is how I prefer it - lots of fresh herbs, and the pop of added color and tartness you get from dried cranberries.

Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip Recipe

Mast-o-Khiar: The Approach

For me, this dip is all about the details, and personal preferences. I make it with 2% Greek yogurt, and walnuts that have been toasted exceptionally well. You want them as deeply toasted as you can get them without any burning - this makes all the difference. I also love it with a labneh base - thicker, but also wonderful. I'm particular about the cut on the cucumber, instead of chunks large and small, I prefer a small dice yielding pieces just a bit larger than a pencil eraser. Also, don't skimp on the olive oil drizzle. The way good olive oil plays off the yogurt is magic.
Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip Recipe

I know dried rose petals can be hard to find (sometimes I use fresh/unsprayed petals instead), it's ok to skip them - again, not the same, but still really good. If it saves you a trip to the store, almonds work beautifully in place of walnuts, but again, toast them well. And trading the cucumber for zucchini (remove seeds), is what I do when it is in season - or do a combination. You can tweak the basic idea many different ways. It's great with toasted (or grilled) pita bread.

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Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip

5 from 1 vote

If you can't find dried rose petals, simply leave them out. The dip will be different but still delicious!

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 cups / 480 ml Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • a dozen fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded & finely diced
  • great quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, deeply toasted
  • 2 teaspoons crushed dried rose petals
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries
  1. On a cutting board, sprinkle the garlic cloves with the salt, then mash/chop into a paste with a knife. In a small bowl combine the garlic paste with the yogurt, dill, and mint. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  2. When you're all set -stir in the cucumber, and salt to taste. Spoon into a favorite dish and serve drizzled with the olive oil, sprinkled with the walnuts, rose petals, and dried cranberries.


Serves 6-8.

Prep Time
5 mins
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Recipe Rating


I think this sounds very delicious! Frederika..I make a tzatki sauce too and this one sounds even more amazing for with cucumbers!


I just wanted to let you know I made this dip for friends last night, and it was an absolute hit! I couldn't find dried rose petals in a rush, but the dip was a success despite their omission. The sweetness of the cranberries combined with the tart yoghurt base worked a treat. Just delicious - I will most definitely revisit it. Thank you! x


Such wonderful and soul-lifting colours. Simply beautiful, Heidi. Once again you have brought a smile to my face. Thank you. Kate x

Kate Olsson

Loved this recipe. FYI for rose petals, a Middle Eastern or Persian grocer will carry them. For SF readers, I got mine from Samirami's Imports on 26th and Mission -- they come in a HUGE 1 lb bag, but you can ask them to make a smaller 1/2 lb bag.


Thank you for this Persian recipe. I love it.


This dip was delicious and beautiful. I served it in the center of a big flat platter, to show off the toppings and allow everyone to get at it. From a double-batch of dip, we had one spoonful left -- I used it the next day as a WOW topping for cucumber soup.

HS: So glad you liked it Paula :)

Paula the Pastry Chef

Does anyone have any idea where you can purchase dried rose petals? I wouldn't even now where to look. Whole Foods?

Dennis @ Fort Collins Personal Trainer

Made this last night and it was wonderful. Served it with chunks of sourdough bread. I actually just picked and dried the rose petals myself (you just need to make sure the plants haven't been sprayed), then crushed them with a little sugar before sprinkling on top. I also added some fresh lemon thyme to my herb mix. Superb! Thanks for showcasing such a great ethnic recipe.


This is special Iranian cold food.We usually use that with other main/hot foods.The word MAST means Yogurt and KHIAR means Cucumber. As you mentioned correctly: Mast-o-Khiar (yogurt and cucumber).In central cities which located near to desert (like Yazd or Isfahan) people at the end of spring till end of summer use this food daily, even may as a main food for their dinner. Anyhow,Thank you....


That looks beautiful as well as delicious.

Fork and Whisk

Wow the colors in this dish are stunning. Can't wait to try this!


This is STUNNING. Taking dips to a whole new level. Thanks!


What a great idea and amazing photos. im hungry now :)


I love Mastokhiar :) I'm Iranian...It's really great for summer... and I should say to answer some questions here... It's eaten for lunch usually...not as lunch but It's on the table for lunch time and you can eat it with matter what are other dishes on the table... and it's really great if when you want to eat you add dried bread to it in small pieces...


Hi! This is an Iranian recipe (with some things added to it like olive oil and garlic). It's a summer appetizer in my country. "mast" means yogurt, "khiyar" means cucumber and the "o" in the middle means "and".you can eat it with or without bread. It is so delicious! As we say "nush-e-jan"!


I think I could get with eating this for breakfast, right? What a great new dip idea!


I will use this recipe but replace Greek yogurt with my home-made yogurt. I'm sure my family will love it! Thanks!

Really ,it is so beautiful then a good kind of food I like it in spite of I am from Sudan ,we have many foods but I like that so many


I'm very glad to see one of the best of summer recipe of my country in your blog. thanks a lot. Afsaneh from Iran


This is amazing. I am really surprised and rather happy to see that you write about Iranian recipes. :) In my family we usually serve it next to other foods, like Ghorme-sabzi or Lubia-polo (green peas and rice)


Hi, it's so amazing, an Iranian receipt here! Try to add some scallion to it but without olive oil, it would be more delicious! :)


This recipe would make a great light morning meal with pita and a variety of fresh veggies to dip! For breakfast my Arab colleagues eat Labneh (extra thick yogurt) with cucumbers, Zatar (Arabic spice blend heavy on the thyme and sesame seeds) and pita bread. It has really inspired me to reconsider my breakfasts. Eating light, fresh foods rather than heavy, sugary foods first thing in the morning makes me feel better throughout the day. Not is my first meal healthy and refreshing meal, it sets the tone for the other meals I eat and helps me make good choices all day long. In the middle east it is also common to eat hummus, a range of fresh sliced veggies, olives and boiled eggs for breakfast.


This looks truly stunning. Thanks for the recipe - beautiful as always :) Heidi xo

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

The cranberries are such a great addition...can't wait to try this... xv

vicki archer

mmmm yes please. I'm pretty sure I have no idea where to get dried rose petals but the idea intrigues me!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I'm so glad you posted a Persian recipe! I've grown up with Mast o Khiar and we eat it with so many delicious Kabab Koobideh! Great job with the post...I love it!


I've been looking for a new vegetarian take on yogurt! I might skip the olive oil but I love the rest.


This is just as stunningly tasty as it is beautiful! I made it last night to complement the Lentil Almond Stir Fry from your January 2009 post. The leftovers were drop dead delicious, too. Bravo!


I don't think a dip could look any more beautiful... happiness...


How lush! This dip looks delicious :)


Added a bit of lemon peel and extra garlic and let the whole thing sans cucumbers sit over night- it was divine the next day with the toasted walnuts, cranberries, no olive oil, on shrak bread. Thank you.


this delicious recipe is Iranian , you should try it . Also its very good for hot days of summer .


Hi. Thank you for the receipt. I'm an Iranian and I was surprised to find this Iranian receipt in English here. You have added fresh herbs to this receipt. I wanted to say a similar receipt exists in the traditional Iranian foods which is called "Ab Doogh Khiar". It is specially a favorite summer meal in hot days. Having the ingredients of Masto Khiyar it also contains fresh herbs including leek, dill, garlic, mints, penny-royal plant and raisin. It is served with cubes of ice and slices of thin toasted bread. It is really delicious. Thank you again for the receipt.


I just love this.. and wondered if I could substitute some rose water?? for the petals.. it would be easier for me to find here! I can't wait to make this! xx Smidge

Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen

Pretty! ALMOST too pretty to eat! almost....

Rocky Mountain Woman

Yogurt and dried fruit is a match made in heaven! Great Recipe !

Steven A

Awesome! My parents are Iranian and I can never understand why the cuisine is so under-represented in this country. Our family makes this dish differently, which is pretty to be expected. I don't like walnuts in my mast-o-kiar; and some people add golden raisins, which I also hate. We just do yogurt, fresh or dry mint, fresh or powdered garlic, and cucumber. And we don't use it as a dip, we just eat it. Such a great and refreshing snack. I hope you keep posting Iranian dishes- they are sooo good!


That sure is a gorgeous dip; in Turkish cuisine, we also add smoked eggplant puree to yoghurt and garlic, and flavor with dried mint - another stunning dip, hope you try sometime:) Afiyet olsun (in Turkish it means, "may you be happy and healthy with the food you eat") Ozlem

Ozlem's Turkish Table

@Mike You can find dried rose petals in NYC at Kalustyans.


I bet one can use edible violets instead of rose petals? I can't find the latter anywhere in NYC (I might be looking in the wrong places though...)


Heidi - Always looking for a good yogurt recipe and as always your pics are fabulous. Evelyn

Good Life

Loved this as a sauce for artichoke raviolis. I used tiny diced dried apricots in place of cranberries and unfortunately I had no rose petals. My husband enjoyed it as well. I couldn't help eating the leftover"dip"/sauce by the spoonful. Yum!


Dear Heidi, What a pleasure to read the very common in my country Bulgaria recipe!!! We don't use rose petals and cranberries, but everything else is . . .the same. A favorite serving with our traditional spirit, for us this is a 'salad' named "Snow White". The Greek yogurt is for us just 'yogurt', something we can't live without and for this really delicious dish we usually drain it to obtain a thicker texture. Thank you for posting it again! Gery

Gergana Dimova

Can't get over how gorgeous this is. Just stunning. Thank you!


Mast-o Khiar is a family favorite here. Middle Eastern yogurt is much more tart than Greek or American yogurt, so it can easily change flavors depending on what yogurt you use. I am intrigued with addition of olive oil as I have never seen it served this way! Another place to find dried rose petals, besides the Middle Eastern market is an Asian market, in the tea section. Beautiful post!

Laura @ Family Spice

It's nice to see one of my favorite quick and easy snacks dressed up! I tend to stick with just chopped fresh mint (dried just doesn't quite hit the spot) alongside the yogurt and cucumber and serve it with toasted pita bread, but this looks really good. Thanks for the ideas!


The photographs are really special on this post. I'm curious- I'm not too familiar with Iranian flavors. Is this something you would eat just plain or is it a dip? If so, what are your favorite foods to dip with? Thanks Heidi!

Tina @ More Please Recipes

The flavors sound fantastic. I am thinking... how to make this dairy-free (I don't do well with dairy). I am imagining something with coconut milk thickened.

Dawn @cuter than gluten

what do you particularly like to dip in it? it's really beautiful. @amanda - i've only used rose petals to make tea blends, an i'd love to put them in more things. the cake idea is lovely!


While it is a Persian dish, it could be described as delightfully Ayurvedic, too, with its delicate blend of all six tastes, including the cool of rose petals and mint to balance the heat of yogurt's "sour." Oh so pretty, too, giving nourishment to the eyes and the soul!

Laura Plumb

Rose water will do in a pinch. And I'm going to try subbing the cranberries with pomegranate seeds


What would you eat this with, or on?


I agree, I'd make this just for the way it looks. I think this will make it's way to my Thanksgiving table ;-)


I tend to stay away from most dips because they can be fatty and have very little (if any) nutritional value. Your dip looks fantastic and I love all the flavors plus the fact that it's great for you! I would easily make a huge batch of this for any family gathering or just a batch for myself to snack on during the day :)

Julia {The Roasted Root}

To echo everyone else: this dip is truly a work of art. I would definitely hijack it for a late morning weekend breakfast!


So beautiful and exactly the kind of food that I like to eat.


This sounds delicious. I have yet to try making anything that's Iranian but I love tzatziki so I know I'll enjoy this as well! Thanks for another great recipe.


Such stunning photos, Heidi- as usual! This sounds delicious.

charlotte au chocolat

Hi Heidi, I'm intrigued by this dip - I've never seen it before but am a bit a rose petal convert after your lovely granola recipe. It's such a sweet/savoury/floral mix that I'm wondering what sort of things are good to dip in it once you've made it?


Can you use rose hips instead? Whole Foods has them in their bulk spice section, but I dunno about petals . . .


I am wondering what goes well with this dip? I imagine a lot of different things but I'd love to know people's favorite things to pair with it. I have a potluck next week and this might be just the thing to bring. Thanks!


This looks magnificent--will try it for an upcoming party. Heidi, what do you usually serve this with? Some kind of flatbread?


Looks lovely as all your recipes do. I've been eyeing off the dried rose petals in nearby gourmet store (the owners are Lebanese and Melbourne, Australia is very multicultural) so this will give me another way to use them. Thanks Heidi

Kate Parker

That is a fascinating sweet/savory combination. I will remember this for my next party. Thank you!


This sounds so unbelievably delicious! Yum!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

That is sooo beautiful! And I almost have everything I need ... just ordered a bunch of organic rose petals for my baby girl's birthday cake ...

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic

Love the beautiful colors of this dish! i always make mint-cucumber-yogurt....these additional toppings make me wan't to try this out for sure!


Hi Heidi, I have an Iranian shop called Persepolis down the road from me in London - one of the owners has written several cookbooks which are available on Amazon. One of them is called Veggiestan. Her name is Sally Butcher. You might have heard of her already. What kind of dipping utensils would you use for this dip - flatbread ?


hi . I m one of your blogs fan and I'm Persian ! I love Mast o khiar !! it was really exciting reading the recipe here although it s not as same as we make it .


This looks wonderful, but what do you suggest for dippers?

Mayo Earnest

Gorgeous! I have rose water on hand - could that substitute for the rose petals?

Kim W

This is definitely a show stopper! How beautiful. Can't wait to try it.


This is so beautiful and I'm so intrigued...what do you recommend serving this with?


This looks gorgeous! Do you have any thoughts on unique dippers for this? There is of course the usual cast of characters with pita, flatbreads and crackers. And then classic cruidtes, but I am wondering if there is anything else fun that you might suggest?


What do you serve to dip it with or do you just eat it alone? It is beautiful. Where do you get the dried rose petals?


So... dumb question, what do you usually use for dipping?


I make something along these lines with pistachios and dried apricots... I had no idea the foundation had its own rich legacy just East of my ancestral homeland! Being Greek, I was just riffing on tzatziki! Going to try this one quite soon.

theresa k.

Can I ask what you would dip into this beautiful dish?


The only yoghurt dip I've ever made is a version of tzaziki or just a simple yoghurt, herb and lemon dip. I've also never worked with rose petals before. This bowl looks very pretty, I like the color combination. Very curious about the taste, but I trust you on that one, as always.


Hi! This looks delicious! Just wondering what you typically serve it with? Thank you!

Ava Catau

I still think back often to the post you put up, years back now, about what a difference cut size makes. It was, I think, before your very first book came out, and the notion -- and truth of it -- has stuck with me ever since. Two, three, eight times a month, I find myself, knife in hand, vegetable-strewn cutting board underneath, thinking about whether I want to chop a little smaller/narrower/broader. It has made such a meaningful, wonderful difference in my cooking, this bit of mindfulness. So thanks for that. For pencil-eraser sized cucumbers, and particularity, and personal preferences. It's contagious. M


how nice to see a recipe that i eat nearly everyday here :) (sans walnuts and rosepetals of course). pomegranate makes a nice replacement to cranberries.


This looks so pretty, I love the mix of colours. Dried cranberries and toasted walnuts are one of my favourite combinations. Can't wait to try this :)


Oh my, what an incredible looking dip, I am desperate to make that! I absolutely love your recipes and am so grateful for the database you have, and am constantly inspired by what I find here. I am currently converting some of your recipes and finds for my three year old who is on a nasty high fat medical diet for epilepsy. Your recipes really help.


Gorgeous Middle-Eastern flavours and it looks stunning too - not something you can often say about a dip!

leaf (the indolent cook)

Yogurt with with dried fruit and rose petals sounds totally amazing. I want it now!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

The colors are beautiful! The addition of rose petals are actually quite interesting, do they have a taste? Or I guess my question is more along the lines of... what do they taste like?

jaime @ sweet road

WOW. Stunning. This has got to be one of the most beautiful dishes I've ever seen! I love the vibrant shade of rose petals... I must try for sure!

the petite aesthete

Mast-o-Khiar, a perfect taste with drinks especially strong ones, I always make this when we have friends around for drinks in Iran. But mine is so simple this one is professionally made and I'm gonna try this one also beautiful!!


Ohmygoodness this is a perfectincentive to try to find dried rose petals! Except for that, I have every ingredient! Lovely and refreshing this looks. :)

Frances @ The Foodess Files

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