Ancient cultures, including Perisan and Indian, have known about the benefits of yogurt for centuries. The Western world has finally caught up: Plain yogurt, especially, contains lactic acid bacteria that can normalize digestive health, improve immunity, even help regulate mood. All the more reason to try three, simple and delicious plain yogurt recipes with a Persian twist.
While it still may be hard to imagine snacking on unflavored yogurt without at least a dollop of honey or some fruit, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the many ways that plain, tangy yogurt can enliven your cooking. Plain yogurt is a bit of a magician when it comes to balancing acid and spice in many dishes, for example. But you don't have to turn up the spice to reap its benefits. These three very simple Persian recipes showcase our absolute favorite ways to use yogurt right now.
Make a Sparkling Yogurt Drink:
The hottest yogurt drink of the moment is not a sugar-packed smoothie but a cooling fizzy number called doogh, a Persian drink made with plain yogurt, club soda, and dried mint.
1 cup plain yogurt
3 cups club soda
1/2 tablespoon dried mint
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in a medium pitcher, until yogurt and soda are incorporated. Top with ice cubes and a sprig of fresh mint. Pair with shish kabobs and basmati rice sprinkled with sumac for a traditional and satisfying meal.
Elevate Your Dips:
We'll always love a good cucumber yogurt dip, especially since Allrecipes offers 20 ways to make tzatziki, including the Persian version, maast-o-khiar, made with mint, raisins, and even walnuts. But the of-the-moment new yogurt dip is definitely maast-o-musir, or yogurt with shallots. Think of an elevated version of Lipton onion mix that's just as easy to make.
3 large shallots, finely chopped
2 cups plain yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste
Add shallots to plain yogurt. Drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Serve with pita chips for a delicious and easy appetizer or add a dollop to grilled fish or chicken.
Reinvent Your Breakfast:
Yogurt parfaits never go out of style. But, if you're looking to wake it up, try sprinkling pomegranate seeds, crushed pistachios and a swirl of honey--all staples in everyday Persian recipes--for an even more lively and antioxidant-filled take on morning yogurt. Or, go totally savory by topping your toast with yogurt and slivers of caramelized onions, fried garlic and a bit of salt and pepper. Who knew plain could ever be so creative?
Looking for more ways to get your yogurt? Check out our top-rated recipes with yogurt on Allrecipes.
Related: Make Your Own Homemade Plain Yogurt