Ayran is a Turkish yogurt-based drink and is prepared using yogurt, chilled or iced water, and salt. Often, ingredients like black pepper, lime juice, and herbs such as dried mint are also added to enhance the flavor.
One can also find some carbonated versions of ayran. The Turkish delicacy is known by many other names such as doogh, dhallë, daw or tan and is popular across Western Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeastern Europe, and Eastern Europe.
Generally served chilled, ayran is often served along with grilled meat or rice and is most commonly consumed during summer. Some variations also use diced cucumbers, which helps to provide a crunchy texture.
In Albania, ayran is generally consumed during lunch or dinnertime, usually with rice and kofta. In Balkan countries, the drink is generally served during breakfast or lunchtime, and is frequently accompanied by pastries such as banitsa, börek, or others.
In Afghanistan, this beverage is popularly consumed in the summer. It is enjoyed along with dishes such as bolani and Afghan flatbread. In Cyprus, Ayran is prepared using sour sheep yogurt, water, salt, and mint.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Ayran is believed to have been invented and first consumed by Turkic tribes. As stated by Nevin Halıcı (Turkish writer and lecturer of Turkish cuisine), ayran was served to the Turkic people of Central Asia.
One can also find similar types of beverages consumed elsewhere around the world, including doogh which is an Iranian fermented beverage that was first served in ancient Iran (Persia), defined as a cold beverage made using curdled milk and water seasoned with mint. The name doogh originates from the Persian word for milking, dooshidan.
There are many other beverages that are pretty similar to ayran, such as t’an in Armenia and lassi in Southern Asia. The traditional method of making the drink in Iran is directly from milk, without yogurt, using a water skin called mashk in Luri, Kurdish and Persian in Iran, and maskah in Afghanistan. This method requires the pouring of milk into the water skin (which is generally made of deer or sheep skin), and shaking it for a long time.
Turkish Ayran Recipe
- Natural Yoghurt - 400g
- Sea Salt - 1 Pinch
- Cold Water (still or soda) - 2 Cups
- A couple of ice cubes
- Mint (finely chopped)
- Cucumber (finely diced)
- A pinch of black pepper
- Begin by taking a blender and adding natural yoghurt, cold water, and sea salt to it. You can also throw in any of your preferred optional ingredients :ice cubes, mint, cucumber, and black pepper.
- Blend all the ingredients. Combine until everything is mixed well and your drink turns frothy. This should take you approximately 10-20 seconds.
- Once done, pour the drink into a glass and serve chilled. There you have it! Your refreshing ayran is ready to be consumed!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 110mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 6g