Aab Doogh Khiyaar

It’s raining outside and I haven’t seen the sun in what feels like ages, but I’m dreaming of summer. It’s my favorite season, and with Norooz (Persian new year) only a few weeks away, warmer weather is finally beginning to feel like a reality. And with that weather comes cravings for aab doogh khiyaar.

Aab doogh khiyaar is for Iranians what gazpacho is to Spaniards or what somen is to the Japanese. It’s a comfort food for me, evocative of long sweltering days where my family couldn’t be bothered to turn on the oven.

I tried recreating it last summer and it tasted pretty close to the nostalgic aab doogh khiyaar of my childhood.

Ab doogh khiar

2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 cups plain Middle Eastern or Greek yogurt, beaten
1 handful fresh basil (preferrably Persian), chopped
1 handful fresh chives (preferrably Persian), chopped
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
5 radishes (including greens), chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup raisins (preferrably Persian)
2 cups cold water
1 cup ice cubes
2 slices Pita bread (or other Middle Eastern flatbread), toasted and torn into smaller pieces

1. In a bowl, stir cucumbers and green onion into the yogurt. Add the mint, tarragon, chives, walnut, raisins and salt. Mix well together.

2. Stir in water and mix. Adjust seasonings to tasted, and just before serving add ice cubes and bread and mix.

11 thoughts on “Aab Doogh Khiyaar”

  1. oooh, thanks for this!

    what is a persian cucumber? in england cucumbers are different from the one’s i would buy in the states: they are longer and have less rough/tough skin. are persian ones more like that?

    also, dumb question, but how do you eat it? just scoop it with your hands or do you put it on rice or what?

  2. Tank – Persian cucumbers are small and long, about the size of Japanese cucumbers. They have smaller seeds than English cucumbers too, but if you can’t find them, pickling cucumbers can work too. You just eat it as you would a soup – I probably should have mentioned that. 😉 And khiyaar = cucumber.

    Aref jaan – Thanks, and lol @ aab doogh khiyaari commenting 😉

  3. They’re pretty similar in flavor, but Persian cucumbers have less water content than English ones. I think you’d be fine either way.

  4. Just wanted to let you know that I tried this recipe on a hot day last week, and it was amazing. Can’t wait to make it again!

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