I believe this is the right time to share my Abdoogh Khiar (Persian cold cucumber and yogurt soup) recipe with you. If you have visited my “How To” page, you’ve probably seen my post called All About Herbs! As I have mentioned in that post, I grow some herbs in my backyard and love it. This time of year the perennial herbs have come back. One of my perennial herbs is summer savory which is really not readily available in stores and is one of the more finicky herbs to grow here. Our mountainous area has somewhat of a temperamental climate, so out of 7 good size plants that I had planted last year about 4 have come back. I’m not complaining though, it is better than last year!
Summer savory is Marzeh in Farsi and this time of year there is an abundance of it growing in Iran. Marzeh is pretty spicy, burn-your-tongue kind of spicy. I love the flavor that Marzeh adds to Abdoogh Khiar, which is a cold cucumber soup. If you are not able to find summer savory you may add thyme or Greek oregano instead.
Abdoogh khiar or Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup is cool, refreshing, and it is perfect for hot summer days. It is a very popular hors d’oeuvre and also a light summertime lunch in Iran. It is a combination of yogurt, cucumbers, herbs, and raisins with a sprinkle of dried rose petals. For extra flavor and added crunch a small piece of lightly toasted Lavash (soft, thin flat bread) may be crumbled on top of the soup. I have not added crispy Lavash to this recipe, but you can find it in most Middle Eastern grocery stores. You may also toast thin flour tortillas and crush them into small pieces.
It is recommended that fresh herbs are used in this recipe for the best flavor and texture. Unpeeled Persian cucumbers are diced very small and added to the yogurt.
The herbs are chopped and added to the yogurt.
All the Abdoogh ingredients except water and ice are mixed and refrigerated until ready to use.
When ready to serve, add cold water and ice cubes. Serve in individual bowls. Traditionally Abdoogh Khiar is served with crushed pieces of toasted thin lavash bread. Toasted flour tortilla will be a good substitute.
Chill time: 1 hour
- 3 small Persian cucumbers with skin (or 1 ½ English cucumbers), diced very small. The cucumbers with tougher skin should be peeled.
- 16 ounces plain low-fat yogurt
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced fresh chives (may substitute very thinly sliced scallions, green parts only)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- ¼ cup chopped fresh summer savory (may substitute fresh Greek oregano or thyme)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup raisins, picked through and rinsed under cold water
- 1 ½ tablespoon crushed dried rose petals, or ½ tsp rosewater (gholab) - Optional
- ½ cup very cold water
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Chopped fresh dill and crushed rose petals for garnish
- 1-2 cups of crushed toasted lavash bread or flour tortilla (optional) I have not used in this recipe.
- In a medium bowl combine diced cucumbers, low-fat yogurt, sliced chives, and chopped fresh dill and fresh summer savory. You may substitute very thinly sliced scallions for the chives and chopped fresh Greek oregano or thyme for the summer savory.
- Add ½ tsp kosher salt and stir well.
- Fold in ⅓ cup raisins.
- Fold in 1 ½ TBSP crushed dried rose petals (optional).
- Refrigerate uncovered for one hour before serving.
- When ready to serve, add ½ cup very cold water, stir to get a uniform soup consistency.
- Add 1 cup of ice cubes to the soup and ladle it into bowls, serving couple of ice cubes per bowl.
- Garnish with extra chopped fresh dill and crushed dried rose petals.
- Place the optional crushed toasted lavash in a bowl and pass it around to be sprinkled on top of the soup.