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
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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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...)


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