June 19, 2010

A Tribute to Baba and A Healthy Yogurt Dessert For Father's Day

I could get my late father a nice shirt, a warm vest, a fancy pipe with some tobacco or a cologne for father's day and he would have been happy but he also enjoyed a good meal followed by a sweet dessert, preferably ice cream, lots of it. Growing up, I remember him bringing home noon-ghandi (sweet bread), pashmak (cotton candy), ab-nabat (hard candy) to name a few. But ice cream had it's own special place and he could easily finish a gallon of vanilla ice cream in one sitting if he weren't trying to maintain a somewhat healthy diet due to his many health issues. However, on occasion his temptations and cravings for sweets got the best of him and he indulged in foods that weren't the best choice for him. He also liked a daily side dish of yogurt with grated cucumber and mint, yogurt with dill-weed or yogurt with dried fenugreek with his lunch. It was on one of his trips to New York that I had learned what an exceptional cook my father was. He came alone and without my mother and I got to see him in the kitchen with his sleeves rolled up, frying onions and cutting meat! An Iranian father of his generation making delicious khoresh ghaymeh. That was the culinary side of him that I don't think anybody knew about for as long as he lived. But I consider it a blessing that he stayed for several months while I was working and studying for long hours. Coming home to my father's delicious home-cooked meals was a bliss.

For Father's Day I'd suggest making دسرماست وعسل  mast-o-asal (honey and yogurt dessert. It's a healthy dessert made with yogurt, almonds and pistachios, a sprinkle of rose water and a generous drizzle of honey. I would have loved to offer this to Baba and say a heartfelt thank you for the many things he had done for us. I will forever remember his last words to me when he said, "work on your heart, a heart has to be polished and chiseled continuously to be able to reflect like a mirror."

Me and My Father

Mast o Asal - Yogurt and Honey

Serves 2

2 cups of thick and strained yogurt (mast-e kiseh)*
1/2 cup almonds, slivered, chopped or flaked
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, slivered or chopped
1/2 honey
1 tablespoon rosewater *optional

* Mast-Kiseh: Place a strainer that is lined with a cheese cloth over a deep bowl and pour the yogurt into the lined strainer. Gather the cloth on top and strain the yogurt over night or for at least 6 hours. Refrigerate.


  1. In a bowl combine yogurt, almonds, pistachios and rose water, mix well. 
  2. Scoop yogurt  into serving bowls, garnish with almonds and pistachios and drizzle some honey.
  3. Serve with fresh and seasonal fruits.
Enjoy and Happy Father's Day!


  1. What a lovely tribute to your father! This healthy dessert sounds so good - I love the slivered almonds and pistachios here!

  2. Azita, what a lovely, heartfelt post. Your father's beautiful last words to you sent a shiver up my spine. Thank you for sharing that moment with us. Perhaps I might quote him to my Yoga students, if you don't mind. What he said is so true and so very wise.

  3. 5 Star Foodie, Thank you so much. Almonds and pistachios can make anything more tasty.

    Bria, Thanks and by all means please do share.

  4. oh what a sweet post and my Dad likes to cook as well but meat and potatoes he he

    love the dessert but all your food is yummy

    love Rebecca

  5. Lovely post! I friend of mine brought yogurt with cucumber and mint for lunch today. Your sweet yogurt dish sounds delicious!

  6. Azita, nice post :-) Love the yogurt with all the yummie stuff in it...and the rose water I am sure add a nice aroma to it.

  7. This is such a sweet tribute to your father. This healthy yogurt dessert is one that I would love...and wouldn't feel guilty about eating!

  8. your baba looks very distinguished man, and a lovely tribute to him :)

  9. Your baba sounds so refined; I love that ice-cream and all the nuts and such that go in it. Wonderful

  10. btw i also love his last words to you. i can just imagine them in Farsi...

  11. what a beautiful tribute and i love that photo of him. x shayma

  12. I had learned what an exceptional cook my father was. He came alone and without my mother and I got to see him in the kitchen with his sleeves rolled up, frying onions and cutting meat! healthy desserts