Need a refreshing, sugar-free drink? Look no further than the container of natural yogurt in your fridge.
Known as aryan in Turkey and drunk plain, the cooling, soothing yogurt-based drink is popular all over the Middle East. Syrians and Lebanese call it laban ayran. In Iraq and Jordan it’s called shenina.
Traditional Middle Eastern recipes transform yogurt into labneh, a creamy, semi-solid cheese as well (and here’s our labneh recipe). In its turn, labneh is combined with vegetables like our eggplant with tahini and labneh dish. But the start is always yogurt.
Rather than fill up on drinks sweetened with sugar or aspartame, go for something cool and salty. The salt is part of what makes aryan so refreshing. As we endure the summer heat, we need to replace some of the minerals lost through perspiration, and aryan is a pleasant way to do it.
Aryan, Turkish Yogurt Drink
1/3 glass yogurt (natural)
1/3 glass water
1/3 teaspoon of salt
1/3 glass of crushed ice
1. Combine all the above except the ice and beat well.
2. Put the ice into a tall glass and pour the blended yogurt in.
That’s it. Try using soda water for a change, or add a little crushed mint to the glass. Then you’ll have doogh, the Iranian version of aryan.
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If you ask any of my friends, what my favorite drink is they may tell you red-bull or beer! Shock, horror, surprise, it is infact Ayran. This is a Turkish drink that is consumed by millions of Turks every day.
Don’t be surprised if you are suffering from an upset stomach and a Turkish person offers you Ayran as it is a great way of calming down a poorly tummy. What do I like so much about Ayran? Well, it is simply a great thirst quencher that taste good.
My favorite time for drinking it is, lunchtime. If you want to be really Turkish, then simply head to a kebab shop at lunchtime and ordered kebab and Ayran. If you are not in Turkey, then you can make it yourself at home by simply mixing yogurt, water and salt in amounts to suit your taste buds.
How To Make Ayran
Take a blender, add water, yogurt and salt to the blender. Whizz it around for 30 to 45 seconds and then pour it into glasses. If needed you can serve it with ice cubes or a leave of mint. At this point, I also have to tell you about the number one mistake when it comes to holiday makers and Ayran.
A Common Mistake
Holiday makers booking self catering apartments will head off to the supermarket, buy Ayran instead of milk and try to add it to their morning cup of coffee. Well, it is the same color so it is an easy mistake to make but salty coffee or tea is not nice.
For future reference, milk in Turkey is called Sut.
In the meantime, enjoy a nice refreshing glass of Ayran.
Published: Jan 29, 2021 · Modified: Jan 29, 2021 by Amira · This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.
Ayran is a refreshing salty 3 ingredient Turkish yogurt drink that takes only 2 minutes to make. It is served throughout the Middle East with different names and variations. Here I will show you 3 most popular ways to make and enjoy Ayran.
Table of contents
- Why This Recipe Works
- Recipe Ingredients
- Ingredient Notes
- Recipe Instructions
- Recipe Expert Tips
- Recipe FAQs
- Recipe At A Glance
- More Recipes From the Blog
Why This Recipe Works
This drink will make you enjoy whole milk yogurt to the fullest. Perked up with some salt it goes pretty well with any meaty or spicy meal. It is specially delicious with kebabs and shawarma too.
It is very adaptable to your liking, make it thicker or thinner is a personal preference. It is served throughout the middle east with names like doogh and laban. I like to serve it also with moussaka and dolma.
- I like whole milk yogurt than low fat in this recipe. Low fat still works but the whole milk gives a richer drink.
Note: This is an overview of the instructions. The full instructions are in the recipe card below.
- In a deep bowl add yogurt and whisk for 10 seconds to make it lump free.
- Add water and salt then mix well. Here you have it the plain Ayran.
- Add some fresh mint leaves then whisk or blend to make a green Ayran.
- To make the frothy one, add some club soda and whisk with electric beaters.
Recipe Expert Tips
- Whisking this yogurt first makes it easier for the ingredients to blend with no lumps.
- You can use a hand whisk or a blender to make Ayran. For the green minty one it is better to use a blender so you make sure mint leaves are completely broken and blended into the yogurt drink. For the frothy Ayran you will reach a better froth using an electric hand (beaters) blender.
I prefer whole milk yogurt, but you can use low fat or Greek yogurt. Be aware that you might want to add more water if using Greek yogurt. Make sure you are using non-flavored plain yogurt.
Some people use 1:1, 2:1 and even 1/2:1 yogurt to water ratio so making it thinner or thicker is really a personal preference.
Indian Lassi comes in sweet and salty varieties although the sweet one is the most common. Salty lassi is similar to Ayran laban.
Ayran is made of yogurt while Kefir is made from milk. Kefir in the stores here is always flavored with fruit syrup.
Ayran can be enjoyed as a light snack with simit or it can be enjoyed with heavy or spicy meals. I saw Ayran served during Ramadan iftar in Istanbul along with kebabs.
Aside from the plain, green and frothy Ayran here is what I’ve found. Some people add blend in garlic cloves and I have seen others make it tzatziki style by blending it with some cucumber as well.
12th February 2017 By Lulu Witt 1 Comment
Ayran with a frothy top goes beautifully with gozleme or pide
One of the most popular drinks in Turkey is ayran, summer or winter. When foreign visitors first taste this salty drink, many of them cannot fathom why it’s loved by so many but it soon grows on you. Don’t give up.
A REAL THIRST QUENCHER
Ayran is wonderful at quenching your thirst. It also replenishes lost salts when you have been working hard. It can help you lose weight too because it staves off hunger. And it is so easy to make. Below you will find my ayran recipe.
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup water
- ¼ tsp salt or more to taste
- Start by blending the yogurt and slowly add the water and salt.
- Blend until it is completely smooth and has a nice froth on top.
- Pour into a glass and add some ice if you wish.
It took me 4 years to enjoy it and now I couldn’t go to a pizza shop and order a pide or a lahmacun without having an ayran on the side. They are truly a match made in heaven.
HINTS FOR THE FIRST TIME AYRAN TRYER!
If you are going to try it for the first time, I recommend you either make it yourself using a blender or buy it ready-made from a shop. If ayran is sold in a bottle or sealed drink container, then the texture will be smooth, the same as if you had blended it yourself.
If you buy it from a little cafe or lokanta where they make it on the spot, often the vendors are not fussed about how well it is blended. Using just a hand whisk, it often has tiny fatty, yogurty lumps in the drink which can be more than off-putting, even for the converted ayran drinking community.
On top of that, many Turks, especially from the villages, are used to older yogurt, on the point of fermenting and can handle quite sour yogurt. So you get a double whammy if you are not careful – a lumpy, everso slightly off, salty concoction. Not advisable for the first time tryer.
I personally need my ayran smooth as silk and as fresh as can be. And then I promise you, not only is it delicious but it amazingly thirst quenching and manages any hunger pangs as well.
Many older fashioned lokantas, often the type that are selling pides, gözleme and kebaps will have an actual ayran machine which pumps the yogurt drink through a fountain and creates an amazing froth.
These generally are lovely and smooth and the head on the ayran will definitely give the impression that you are drinking a big, cold beer. (The straw is a bit of a dead giveaway, so cast that aside!)
ADDING SALT TO AYRAN
In summer, it is quite common to see people shake a bit more salt into the ayran to replenish their lost salt from perspiring. I certainly know from experience that in summer I require more salt in my ayran than during the winter months.
It’s worth listening to your body as I do believe sometimes we need extra salt, if we have been working hard or just stuck out in the sun too long. I do not overly salt my food normally and refuse to feel guilty about adding extra to my ayran on these occasions.
Published: Jul 27, 2019 · Modified: Mar 4, 2021 by Shadi HasanzadeNemati · This post may contain affiliate links .
Ayran or doogh is a savory yogurt drink that’s made with only three ingredients. This refreshing drink pairs well with Mediterranean cuisine and is great for hydration.
Yogurt is frequently used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean and especially Turkish recipes mostly in savory dishes. From breakfast items such as cilbir (Turkish eggs) and appetizers like cacik (Turkish yogurt and cucumber) to soups such as yayla corbasi (Turkish yogurt soup) and sauces like tzatziki, yogurt has a special place in this regions cuisine and is regularly used in every meal. Today we’re going to take a look at one of the most common drinks of the Middle East and the Mediterranean regions. It’s called Ayran or Doogh, a delicious savory yogurt drink made with only three ingredients.
- What is ayran?
- The origin
- Frequently asked questions
- Serving suggestions
- Step-by-Step Recipe
What is ayran?
It’s is a Turkish yogurt drink made of only three ingredients: yogurt, water and salt. This traditional Turkish drink is salty and tangy and also healthy. This savory yogurt drink is usually served cold or with ice alongside main dishes for lunch or dinner. Some would say ayran is Turkey’s national drink. However, this tasty drink is not limited to Turkey and can be found well beyond its borders.
Aryan has other names in other locales. In Iran, this drink is known as doogh. This drink is probably just as popular in Iran as it is in Turkey and is traditionally served with kebab and rice. Doogh can be made with plain or carbonated water. The Abali region of Iran makes the most popular yogurt drink in Iran.
Ayran is a popular drink all across the Middle East and the Mediterranean. From Iran and Turkey, to Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Balkans, Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria, this yogurt drink is being made and served in different regions. Recipes from each region might vary as well. As mentioned, doogh is sometimes made with carbonated water in Iran and is thinner compare to Turkish ayran.
This simple yogurt drink is made of three main ingredients:
- Yogurt: Whole milk yogurt works perfectly for this recipe. You can also use homemade yogurt to make this drink.
- Water: It’s best to use filtered water.
- Salt: Kosher salt or table salt would work for this recipe. The amount of salt depends on how salty you’d like the drink to be.
As you can see in the photos, we also add dried mint since it’s a common addition to doogh in Iran. You can easily leave it out and make this drink simply with the three ingredients mentioned above.
I don’t recommend using fresh mint to make doogh because fresh mint leaves, no matter how finely chopped, are bigger than dried mint and might be chewy in the yogurt drink. You can find dried mint in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean stores.
Frequently asked questions
Is this a healthy drink?
Ayran is very healthy as it helps to build your natural defense mechanism. The main ingredient used to make this refreshing drink is yogurt which is full of protein, calcium and natural probiotics.
This drink is very good for hydrating your body and it’s also helps your digestive system. Check out this article about drinking yogurt in summer on Washington Post.
Can I use non-dairy yogurt?
Yes, you can make this recipe using dairy free yogurt. However, make sure that the yogurt you’re using is plain and doesn’t contain any sugar.
Is kefir and ayran the same?
Ayran is made from yogurt whereas kefir is made from milk. The kefir you find at supermarkets is usually flavored with sweet fruit syrups. Ayran is salty and tangy and easier to drink compared to kefir.
Ayran vs Indian lassi, what’s the difference?
Indian lassi comes in two forms of sweet and salty, both with a yogurt and water base. Salty lassi is similar to doogh or ayran whereas sweet lasi uses sugar instead of salt and is a completely different drink.
What the yogurt to water ratio for this recipe?
The ratio that works for me when I make doogh is 1.5:1 which means for every 1.5 cup yogurt, I use 1 cup water. However, the amount of yogurt and water used depends on your preference.
If you like the yogurt drink to be thinner, then add more water and if you like it thicker, add more yogurt. To make sure you reach the right consistency, first add the yogurt into a large bowl or blender and mix it for a few seconds. Then gradually add the water to yogurt and mix until it reaches the right consistency.
Even though some people consider ayran to be a refreshing drink that quenches thirst naturally, many of us who grew up with this yogurt drink have learned to enjoy it any day of the year. In Iran, we use doogh to make abdoogh khiar, which is an Iranian cold soup, made with doogh, cucumbers, herbs, walnuts and raisins.
When I was living in Istanbul, one quick item to have for lunch would be simit and ayran. Fresh simit with salty ayran are a satisfying combination, especially in summer. Other dishes that would go well with ayran are:
- Shish kabob
- Joojeh Kabab
- Karniyarik (Turkish stuffed eggplant)
How To Make Ayran Recipe (Yogurt Drink)
Ayran or doogh is a savory yogurt drink that’s made with only three ingredients. This refreshing drink is served with main dishes and is great for hydration.
Published August 21, 2020 | Updated September 16, 2020 By Roxana Begum | 5 Comments This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Get ready to savor some salty and creamy Ayran with an incredible foamy top. A healthy, refreshing and delicious yogurt beverage, this is a great source of nutrients and probiotics.
Ayran Turkish Yogurt Drink
Ayran is a creamy savory yogurt drink that is very popular in Turkey. Enjoyed chilled and with ice, this is always served with meals at home and restaurants in Turkey.
Yogurt based beverages are a pretty common item on daily menus across the middle east to the Indian subcontinent. We have previously shared our doogh recipe, a Persian yogurt drink, that is a favorite among our readers.
Doogh and ayran are made with the same basic ingredients, however there are subtle differences. I have found ayran to be thicker, which also makes it feel more creamy. It is relatively less tangy than doogh.
While both are fizzy drinks, ayran is often served with its characteristic foamy top. And this Turkish beverage is typically enjoyed plain, whereas doogh is often flavored with herbs, rose petals and such.
What Do You Need
Yogurt, Water, Salt
That is all you need to make this good homemade drink! I would recommend a few more things to take it up a notch.
- Sparkling mineral water: This will add a nice fizz to your yogurt drink.
- Mint: Stir in whole mint leaves, chill and discard leaves. Dont blend yogurt with fresh leaves. Alternatively stir in dried mint.
What Kind of Yogurt To Use
This drink has an amazing creamy flavor and taste.
- Full fat homemade yogurt that is slightly tangy works best.
- The high fat content in Turkish yogurts also helps with foam development when the drink is blended at high speed.
- Choose only plain yogurt without added sugars or flavors.
- This may not be traditional, but adding a dash of cream while blending this beverage, helps with the foam and creaminess even further. Especially if using reduced fat yogurt, definitely try that.
How To Make Foamy Ayran
A thick layer of foam on top of this yogurt drink is not just for looks, it also provides an interesting mouthfeel and consistency. Just like the difference between plain milk coffee versus cappuccino with its foam on top.
- Blend full fat yogurt and salt in a pitcher using an immersion hand blender.
- Stir in sparkling water and blend again, until foamy on the top.
- Serve it chilled.
One trick to make more foam is to run an electric milk frother in some creamy yogurt diluted with sparkling water and add that extra foam on top.
Homemade Yogurt For Ayran
The easy way to make it is using a yogurt maker and following the manufacturers instructions.
Otherwise, bring full fat milk to a boil and cool it to 110 degrees F. Then stir in ½ a cup of fresh yogurt per one quart or liter of milk. Use a fast moving brand of yogurt with active cultures.
Cover with a lid and wrap towels around the dish and let it ferment in a warm place for about 8 to 9 hours to make yogurt that is not too sour. Over fermentation will make the yogurt very sour for this drink. You may try fermenting the yogurt in an oven that has not been pre-heated.
Ayran Health Benefits
- This yogurt beverage is a good source of high quality protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B 6 and vitamin B 12.
- It provides gut friendly probiotics. Therefore, it is beneficial for gastrointestinal conditions such as, constipation, irritable bowel disease, diarrhea, lactose intolerance, etc.
- Regular consumption of yogurt based drinks with active cultures may support the immune system, better weight management, aid in prevention of osteoporosis and lower the risk of high blood pressure.
- As a dairy beverage with low amount of lactose, this may be a better choice for a lactose intolerant person.
- It is gluten free, vegetarian, egg free, soy free and nut free.
How To Serve It
Serve it on some ice in clear glasses or copper mugs with lots of foam on top. Flavor it with mint if you like.
What To Serve With It
It goes well with Mediterranean and middle eastern meals. My favorite picks to enjoy this yogurt beverage with are:
- Grilled Salmon Kabobs
- Kotlet (Persian Meat Patties)
- Lentil Rice with Cranberries
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
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Turkish yoghurt is an indispensable flavour of Turkish tables. You can see Turkish people having creamy yoghurt in every meal in a day. At breakfast, lunch and especially dinner yoghurt is welcomed with gratitude by Turkish fellows.
So, here in this post, we are going to tell you how to make Turkish yoghurt at your home in the easiest way! Thus, prepare yourself to be the chef for your own yoghurt!
It is very easy to make your own yoghurt at home.
How to Make Home-Made Yoghurt?
For the basic ingredient for yoghurt, you will need;
- 4 cups (1 Lt) homogenized milk
- 2 tablespoonfuls plain yoghurt
You can use homogenized milk to make your own yoghurt. But if you think it is too fatty for you, you can use any kind. Making yoghurt is very easy anyway! Boil the milk first, then put aside until lukewarm. The best and traditional way to measure the temperature of the milk is to dip your pinkie in it. It should be warm but shouldn’t burn.
Steps to Make Yoghurt at Home
Spread a thick towel out over your kitchen counter. Put the warm milk into a clean bowl with a lid and place it on the towel. Put 2 tablespoonfuls of yoghurt and mix well to ferment the new yoghurt. Make sure they’re mixed very well. Cover with the lid. Then cover the bowl with the towel. If it is winter, the yoghurt will be done within 8 hours, otherwise, during the summer, it’ll take 6 hours. Turkish people generally ferment their yoghurt after dinner or before going to bed. The following morning the yoghurt is ready and so, you can place it in the fridge. Keep it in the fridge for a day.
You will find many Turkish recipes with yoghurt as the main ingredient or as a side dish to make soups, desserts, and our favourite drink Ayran. If you like, you can add honey or your favourite jam to give it some flavour. Or just toss some fresh fruit on it, it is perfectly healthy and delicious. Yoghurt with honey or icing sugar is quite favourable and delicious! You should also try yoghurt with some chunks of bread (Turkish, French or Italian style), it’s great for lunch.
You can gain plenty of different flavours with yoghurt.
A Little Bit of Information About Yoghurt
About a thousand years ago, Central Asian Turks were the first to make Yogurt. As it was first spreading into Europe, people used this dairy product for therapeutic purposes. The word comes from the Turkish word “yoğurt”, deriving from the verb “yoğurtmak”. It means “to blend” – a reference to how yoghurt is made. You can consume yıghurt as plain or as a side dish or to make soups, desserts, sauce, to marinate meat and it is a big part of Turkish Cuisine. You can’t find a Turkish house without yoghurt.
Flavours such as ayran and cacık are made of yoghurt.
You should eat yoghurt every day, at least one cup 🙂 Yogurt has beneficial bacteria, calcium and protein. We believe yoghurt cleanses the body from toxins and poisons.
How to Make Creamy (Strained) Yogurt
As for making creamy yoghurt, then place a strainer with a paper towel on top over a bowl. Later on, place some yoghurt on it and fold the edges of the paper towel over the yoghurt. Leave in the fridge overnight. Thus, you’ll have creamy yoghurt waiting in the morning.
Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell
This frothy salted Turkish yogurt drink is endlessly refreshing.
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- 1 pint plain yogurt
- 1 pint cold water
- Salt to taste
- Optional: 2 tablespoons crushed, dried mint
- Pour yogurt into a bowl and beat until smooth, add water and continue beating until thoroughly blended, or combine in an electric blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and dried mint. Chill thoroughly and serve in tall glasses, with ice.
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I’m all for the savory but this is even more delicious with a drizzle of honey whisked in (and on top!)
I’ve been drinking this all life long. It’s a drink suitable for almost any type of food. As yogurt (plain) it is a good thing to chase hangovers. for sure. One can skip the salt. Enjoy!
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