Yogurt drink (Ayran)

yogurt drinkI posted this image on the blog’s Facebook page, just to see how many people would respond to it. Initially I thought it was only an Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey) and  Middle-Eastern drink; turns out it is popular in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, even in parts of China.

In Lebanon, it is called ayran and most people  buy it at the neighborhood market already made. In the US, it is sold in Arab or ethnic groceries. Yet preparing it at home is easy and the great thing about it is that it is unsweetened, very refreshing  and has protein and calcium from the yogurt. It is excellent with kebabs or grain-based dishes.


Above machine was photographed in a Beirut (Hamra) restaurant serving Aleppian cuisine. The machine keeps the ayran cold and smooth.

I am sharing a recipe from my friend and master chef Asma, who is of Kurdish heritage (it is called daw in Kurdish/Kurmanj). 

INGREDIENTS: for one serving

1/2 cup yogurt, plain

1/2 cup water

pinch of salt, optional

1. Mix the yogurt and water till smooth. Add a sprinkle of mint if you like or drink it plain.

3 generations of Kurdish ladies-2

Three generations of Kurdish ladies, Asma (middle) and her sister Fikriyeh (right) are both Master Chefs.

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  1. Iraqi
    Posted July 12, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    My family is from Baghdad and we drank yoghurt with club soda. I have seen a similar drink in 2 liter bottles in Middle Eastern markets here in California. Can’t recall the brand, though.

  2. Posted July 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    This sounds refreshing and perfect for a quick pick-me-up. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Posted July 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    This is so simple — and I’m always looking for ways to use my homemade yogurt!

  4. Joumana
    Posted July 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    @Iraqi: Forgot to mention this too! Thanks! I will ask my Iraqi friends, they are here from Baghdad for a respite from the scorching heat.

  5. Posted July 13, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I had Ayran recently and really enjoyed it. Love the unsweetened taste which allows the good quality tangy yoghurt to shine.

  6. Posted July 14, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Simplicity at its best; love a good frothy ayran – and this one looks so inviting :)

  7. Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I’ll bet it would taste refreshing and delicious whirred in a blender with the mint leaves and some ice chips too.

  8. Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I LOVED drinking ayran while in Turkey last year, who knew it would be so easy to make at home, thanks for this one, Joumana!

  9. Posted July 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    J’en goûterai volontiers tellement ça à l’air bien bon et ça me rappelle le laben. Mais je pense que ça n’a rien à voir.

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