Mast-o-Khiar For The Vernal Equinox


Finally the longest ever winter of our serious discontent is coming to an end. Last Sunday we sprang ahead into longer days filled with sunshine and a few rays of hope. For that very reason every day going forward is special and worth celebrating.

And this weekend is the vernal equinox, or Persian New Year. Let’s party!

green Persian raisins

First off, you’re going to need to source some green raisins…


The ramps and fiddleheads are still a ways off, but don’t let that stop you from creating a spring-inspired recipe to honour the miracle that is the end of winter. This one calls for a different kind of spring green – green raisins. This kind is famous for its unique sweet and sour taste and its long shape

Here’s Samira Mohyeddin, co-owner of Toronto’s favourite Persian restaurant Banu, with a step by step:


Just look at the colours! It’s like a painting in a bowl. Mohyeddin calls it “tzatziki’s classier cousin”.

You can buy many of these ingredients; the cucumbers, walnuts, mint and yogurt, in our store, but you’ll have to go to Banu on Queen West for the green Persian raisins and damask rose petals.



That’s the beauty of living in a city, going from shop to shop, unearthing new ingredients, and supporting community along the way. Banu has been run by the Mohyeddin family for fifteen years on Queen Street. In 2020 they began selling an array of Iranian and Middle Eastern goods – think pomegranate molasses, smoked rice, saffron ice cream and barbari bread. They are all stocked up for Nowruz, the vernal equinox and Persian New Year (March 20th). It’s a perfect time to stop in and say hi, and pick up the special ingredients to make this beautiful dish of Mast-o-Khiar.

Every day is magic as we welcome the sunshine back into our lives. And this special dish is the perfect way to do it. Enjoy.

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