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Iranian cucumber and mint yougurt

Iranian cucumber and mint yougurt

Picture of Mast-o-Khiar (Iranian cucumber and mint yougurt)
Mast o Khiar is a simple traditional Iranian side dish that goes good with almost everything. With mint, cucumbers and yogurt it makes the perfect summer snack that takes only takes a few minutes to make.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

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You will need:

  • 2 cups yogurt (not sweet. Just a little sour is perfect. Mine is home made)
  • 1/2 a large cucumber
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mint
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1/3 Teaspoon salt
  • Raisins (optional)

You will also need:

  • Knife
  • Dish to serve in
  • Serving spoon
  • Measuring spoons

Step 2: Mix mint and yogurt

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Ok, this is easy.

-Pour approximately two cups of yogurt into your bowl.
-Add 1 Tablespoon of dried mint.
-Add about 1/3 of a teaspoon of salt.
-Mix everything

Step 3: Add cucumber

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– Peel and dice half a cucumber.
-Mix into yougurt

Step 4: Garnish with fresh mint

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Take the fresh mint and put it on top.

Step 5: Serve

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Serve chilled. Usually its fine if you make it right before you serve it.
If you want you can add raisins.

Enjoy!

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Salsa fresca

Salsa fresca

Picture of Salsa fresca
For about 10 years I have been making salsa.  My recipe changes almost every time but here are the basics for making a fresh, chunky, salsa.

This dish is also called pico de gallo.

Step 1: Ingredients

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There are some things that i put in every salsa i make.  Usually I double this amount just so I can munch on chips and salsa through a good portion of the week.

  • 5-8 Tomatoes (usually roma but I have used just about any fresh and firm tomato available)
  • 1 or more bunches of Cilantro
  • 1 can of Corn
  • Onions (I use two bunches of green onions now)
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic
  • 0 slices of Bacon (I know, weird, right?)

There are many other things you can put in too…

  • JalapeƱo peppers (or even hotter peppers) with or without the seeds
  • Limes to squeeze the juice onto the salsa
  • Avocados, mangoes, carrots, radishes… experiment!

Step 2: Chop tomatoes

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I’m not very good at this step despite chopping these things pretty frequently.  Often i’ll chop a few and then move on to something different for the salsa and then come back to them.  Tomatoes are just so boring.  And after a while they start to kind of burn my skin.

Step 3: Add corn

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I have a friend that hates that i put corn in my salsa – you also might not like it.  I use canned corn because fresh corn is a bit more seasonal than all the rest of the ingredients.  Cut the lid but leave a hinge so you can easily drain the corn before you dump it out.

Step 4: Chop the onion

Picture of Chop the onion
I have used a few different types of onion.  But bunches of green onion are my favorite.  They require far less cutting to make them salsa-chunk-size!

Step 5: Shred the cilantro

Unfortunately I do not have a photo of this step.  As you’re well aware, cilantro is very sneaky.  If cilantro was your friend and you had your camera out, cilantro is the kind of friend that always turns away or hold up their hand whenever a camera is around.  This is well documented.  Ask anyone that has tried to photograph cilantro.

Maybe it is the whole “Chinese parsley” or “coriander” naming confusion.

One thing that is for sure – this stuff is good for you!

Step 6: Peel and mince the garlic

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I tend to go overboard on the garlic.  Sorry.  I have been known to put an entire head in.  But just a few cloves are probably best if you’re going to be sharing this batch.

Many health benefits have been identified for garlic.  Social benefits seem t be fairly limited though.

Step 7: Mix well and enjoy!

Picture of Mix well and enjoy!