Any proper foodie, especially one with a food blog, would probably never admit to loving Ruffles chips as much as I do. Generally, I'm not a junk food lover and really don't care for Ruffles on their own, but put a big bowl of mast-o-khiar or mast-e-mooseer (cucumber and mint yogurt and shallot yogurt, respectively) in front of me and that bag is a goner.
Mast-o-khiar and mast-e mooseer is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Persian yogurt concoctions. There's also yogurts with cooked vegetables like eggplant and spinach. These yogurts are a cornerstone of Persian cuisine and are traditionally used as a side with rice dishes (polo) or stews or eaten with just about anything. But in the context of snacks, it doesn't get any better than cool, tangy and ultra smooth masts with the crunchy and salty goodness of Ruffles. Forget about those packets of dried stuff you mix with sour cream. You have not experienced chips until you've had it with mast-e-mooseer.
Valerie and I learned about this incredible combination from a friend in college when her mom used to send us vats of this stuff. Here I've replicated her recipe, which I used a regular Persian yogurt with cucumbers and mint and a kefir (or labneh) for the shallots. The thick richness of a strained yogurt like kefir works incredibly well with shallots.
– 1 32-oz container of whole-fat plain yogurt or about 4 cups (and don't skimp on the fat. You are about to eat a whole bag of chips after all)
– 5 Persian cucumbers, finely diced
– 2 1/2 tablespoons of dried mint
– pinch of sea or kosher salt
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt with the dried mint and salt. Add the finely diced cucumbers and mix together.
– 1 1-lb container of kefir or labneh. (You can find these in any Middle Eastern market but if you don't have access, a brand like Fage would work, although I don't prefer this kind here– it just doesn't taste the same. A strained yogurt can be made at home by taking plain yogurt and straining it in few layers of cheese cloth over a bowl too.)
– 2 large shallots or 3 smaller ones, thinly sliced
– sea or kosher salt
Start placing the sliced shallots in a bowl and tossing them with a heavy pinch of salt. Let this sit for about a half hour. I do this because I don't like the sharp taste of raw onions. Mast-e-mooseer works much better with a mellow shallot flavor and you can even try using dried shallots here. Rinse and drain the shallots and finely mince them.
Mix the shallots together with the kefir.