RECIPE: Persian Yogurt-Cucumber Dish

nuitjasmineAugust 28, 2006

This is a really delicious, healthy, simple dish I especially love in the summer. Many cultures have a yogurt/cucumber dish, but I like the fresh herbal notes in this one. Tasty alone, with plain rice, or with toasted bread...

Persian Yogurt-Cucumber Dish, AKA "Masto-Khiar"

2 lb tub of PLAIN, unsweetened, unflavored yogurt

2-3 small Persian cucumbers

or

1 med. Japanese "hothouse" cucumber or reg. cucumber

1 1/2 tbl dried, crushed mint (or more to taste)

2 tsp dried, crushed dill

1/2 tsp salt or to taste

dash of pepper to taste

1 tsp honey

optional:

3 tbl lebni or kefir if available to give added creaminess

Directions:

Dice cucumbers into small pieces, about 1/4" square. If using regular cucumbers, seed them and salt them a little to draw out a little water, then rub salt off and pat dry. You may want to peel the skin off if it is bitter. Persian cucumbers are really tastiest... (it's a beit alpha cucumber type--- might be sold under different names, but it is small has smooth skin and no seeds)

Gently squeeze excess water from cucumber and mix into yogurt.

Add herbs, seasonings, honey and mix well.

Serve garnished with a fresh mint sprig and rose petals or other edible flowers for a beautiful dip. :)

Hope you enjoy!!!

A Note on Yogurt:

If your yogurt has a watery consistency or has water pooled on top, you can "drain" the water in a special yogurt strainer or put it all in a large bowl then place several paper towels on top of it with the edges outside of the bowl. Place bowl on large plate to catch liquid drips from the corners of the paper towel that are hanging out of the bowl's edge. Leave in the fridge like this for a day or overnight (make sure the plate will catch all drips and hold liquid w/o overflowing) and you'll have nicely thickened yogurt. Persian brands like Abali, Sadaf, or Karoun are excellent, if you have a middle eastern grocer around. Trader Joe's also has a good plain yogurt, and also a mediterranean yogurt that is nice and thick.

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