There are a lot of dairy products made of milk. One of these products is Persian yogurt (Mast,ماست). In English, Its translation is “yogurt”. You can use any milk to produce yogurt (Mast). But the most ordinary milk used to make it is cow milk. The Mast is the result of the fermentation of milk by lactobacillus bacteria.
Mast or Persian yogurt, and other dairy products like whey are the primary food in cooking and Persian cuisines. Some of the meals that Maast has an essential role in them include Tahchin, Ash-e-Mast, Eshkene, Boranies, or side dishes like Mast-o-Khiar (cucumber dill yogurt dip), and dough (Persian Yogurt drink).
Production of yogurt was entirely by accident. For the first time when tribes poured the milk into the goat’s skin bags for better storage, yogurt was made by the bacteria in the goat’s skin that fermented the milk. Its place of origin is Turkey to Bulgaria, and so its Turkish name (yogurt) has come from its original location. We can also see yogurt in the history of Iranian ancient that has mentioned 500 years ago. In the history and culture of Indians, they have mentioned yogurt as “the food of Gods”.
Different types of Persian Yogurt
The Mast is one single type with different flavors. Persian people usually like the sweet while the sure type is common and better for a cooking meal. Other most popular Persian yogurts in Iran include Fruit yogurt, creamy yogurt (Greek yogurt), Shallot yogurt (Mast-o-Mosir), Dripped yogurt (Maasta-e-Chekide), and cucumber yogurt (Mast-o-Khiar). If I want to describe them a little more, I should say as follows.
In Fruit yogurt, you can add slices of different fruit to yogurt. So its sour taste will be reduced, and a new and different flavor of the fruit will be created. In creamy yogurt (Greek yogurt), you can mix some cream with milk. So you will increase the amount of fat in the milk up to 10%. You should serve creamy yogurt along with honey as a kind of dessert. In Shallot yogurt, you can chop or grate some shallot or garlic to yogurt and add some dried herbs to make a unique taste to yogurt.
In Dripped yogurt, you will put a piece of cloth on the top of yogurt. So you will have a kind of yogurt with no extra water. This kind of yogurt is specially used in cooking cake or other meals. Cucumber yogurt (Mast-o-Khiar) is a kind of dessert or side dish which is prepared by adding diced cucumber and chopped dried herbs to yogurt. According to your taste, you can also add some raisins and slices of walnuts to it that make a super taste.
Important nutrition facts of Persian Yogurt:
Persian Yogurt (Mast) is so useful and beneficial that in ancient Indians history and culture, it is called “the food of Gods”. Yogurt is the primary source of protein, minerals, and vitamins. A bowl of low fat-Yogurt which is almost 260gr includes 155 kcal energy, 15gr of protein, 14gr of carbohydrate, 4g of fat (of course, the amount of fat depends on the milk that is used in making yogurt and its fat).
It is also rich in calcium (447mg), magnesium (43mg), potassium (573mg), and riboflavin. Daily consumption of Yogurt reduces the incidence of many diseases and disorders like eczema and hives, osteoporosis, cancers, infections, gastrointestinal disorders, and asthma. It also can boost your memory and strengthen your bones because yogurt is a remarkable source of phosphorus and vitamin D.
It is also the right choice as a side dish for those who want to lose weight because yogurt increases the body’s ability to burn fat. So never forget to use yogurt or its addicts in daily diet. Just be careful if you have a cold temperament since yogurt has a cold character, too. So make sure you add some crushed dried mint leave, damask rose powder, or Shahsparan to balance your temperament.
Serving style of Persian Yogurt:
Persian Yogurt (Mast) is usually served as a side dish or even as a dessert such as Mast-o-Khiar, and Mast-e-Mosir. You can serve it in a small bowl with topping it with crushed dried mint leave or damask rose powder. You may have yogurt as the main ingredient of the main meal, such as Borani. Also, you can make the dough (Persian Yogurt Drink) with Yogurt and serve it as a drink.
Persian Yogurt is the right choice as a side dish for a vegetarian diet. But unfortunately, a vegan cannot taste it anymore.
What are the ingredients of Persian Yogurt?
The ingredients which are needed to make yogurt in a dairy factory is a little different. Milk and lactobacillus bacteria that ferment milk and change it to yogurt are the materials that are being used in a dairy factory to make pasteurized Yogurt.
But if you want to make homemade yogurt, your work is much more comfortable. It would be best if you had some milk and some yogurt.
How to make Persian Yogurt?
Making Yogurt (Mast) is so simple that you never think. You need to boil milk in a pot for almost 20 minutes until its extra water evaporate. You can use both kinds of local milk and pasteurized milk. But if you use the local milk, your Yogurt’s taste and texture will be better and more delicious. Then you should pour it to a suitable container and let it cool down until its heat reaches the desired temperature. The warmth should be as much as you can feel it with your finger when you measure it. In this level, you have to add your Yogurt to milk.
But before adding it, you need to mix the Yogurt with a glass of milk and stir it until it gets smooth. Then you add it to the rest of the milk in the container little by little. You should mix the milk gently while adding Yogurt to it. Finely you have to cover your container with warm clothe and towel and keep it warm for almost 5 to 8 hours, and you should never move it in this time until your yogurt reaches de desired consistency and Gelatin-like texture. In the end, you will uncover the container and refrigerate it to cool for 1 hour. After 1 hour that it gets cold enough, it is ready to use.
This recipe is adequate for four people. The preparation time is 5 minutes, and the cooking time is 20 minutes. It also needs 6 to 9 hours of chilling time, 5-8 hours under warm clothes, and 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- 4 glasses of milk
- 4 tablespoons yogurt
- Grab a suitable-size pot and pour the milk into the pan.
- Put the pot on medium flame and let it boil. When it boils, turn the flame down and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until its extra water evaporates completely.
- Pour it in a suitable container and let it cool down. The warmth should be as much as you can feel it with your finger when you measure it with the fingers.
- When it reached the desired temperature, mix yogurt with one glass of milk and stir it until it gets smooth.
- Add yogurt to the rest of the milk in the container little by little and stir it gently.
- Cover the container with warm clothe and towel and keep it warm for 5-8 hours and never move it in this period.
- After 5-8 hours, uncover it and refrigerate it for 1 hour until it chills completely.
- Your Persian yogurt (Mast) is ready to use.
- If your milk would be hotter or less hot than required hot, or your yogurt (Mast) would be too cold, your yogurt's texture will be watery, or it will be cracked.
- If you want to have thicker yogurt (Mast), you should use a type of milk with more fat.
- If you like sweeter yogurt (Mast), you can add some sugar to your milk in the process of making it.