Turkish Yogurt (or Greek)
- 1/2 teaspoon
Yogurt, present in Ayran, is a central and essential ingredient of Turkish cuisine. It was invented there a long time ago: the first references to “yogurt” date back to a thousand years ago. Since then, it has travelled the world. Turkish or Greek yogurt, which can be found in one-liter pots in oriental grocery stores and even in supermarkets, can be made from sheep’s or goat’s milk, but most often from cow’s milk. It is more compact and creamy than the usual small yogurt pot.
Emblematic of Turkish gastronomy, yogurt is associated with salty dishes and very often accompanies spicy and hot dishes: either in the form of a drink, hot sauce or seasoning for a meat dish or pasta to calm the fire of a spice. Yogurt is also very digestible.
In this article, we will discover the history, the benefits and the different ways to consume this refreshing drink.
Origin of this Turkish Yogurt Drink
Ayran is a traditional drink that originated in Central Asia and gradually spread to Turkey and other countries in the region. The drink was introduced to Turkey by the nomadic Turkish tribes, who crossed the region bringing with them their culture and traditions.
Etymology of Ayran
The name Ayran is derived from the Turkish word “ay” which means moon and “ran” which means “drop”. This is because the drink was traditionally prepared during the nights of the full moon, when the Turkish nomads were unable to drink pure water due to the often salty nature of the water in the arid regions where they travelled.
Benefits of Ayran
Ayran is a refreshing drink that is not only delicious, but also beneficial to health. This is because it contains yogurt, which is rich in protein, calcium and probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help maintain the balance of the intestinal flora and strengthen the immune system.
In addition, Ayran contains salt, which is important for the body’s electrolyte balance. Drinking Ayran can prevent cramps and dehydration, especially in summer or after intense physical effort.
How to prepare Ayran at home?
The preparation of Ayran is quick and easy. Just mix yogurt, water and salt in a blender until the mixture is smooth and frothy. You can also add herbs such as mint, parsley or dill to give the drink more flavor.
It is important to serve the Ayran chilled, as it is a drink that should be consumed at a temperature below room temperature to be refreshing.
How to Consume this Traditionnal Turkish Drink?
Ayran can be drunk on its own, with a meal or as an aperitif. Traditionally, it is served with spicy dishes such as kebabs, böreks or mezze. In Turkey, it is also common to drink it in the summer to cool down, or after a steam bath in a hammam.
Ayran is also a popular drink in Turkey’s neighboring countries, such as Iran, Azerbaijan and Iraq. In these countries, it is often consumed as a welcome drink for guests.
Ready to make your own Turkish Ayran at home?
Ayran is a refreshing and healthy drink that has been ingrained in Turkish culture for centuries. It can be consumed in many different ways, whether as an accompaniment to a spicy meal, as an aperitif or to cool down on hot summer days. If you have the opportunity to travel to Turkey, don’t miss the chance to try a nice fresh Ayran!
Chill your Ayran Glass
Cool a glass by putting ice cubes in it or by placing it in the freezer for a few minutes.
Preparation of the yogurt
Pour the Turkish (or Greek) yogurt into a bowl, add a little salt and a little ice water until the yogurt becomes liquid (about 15cl, more or less depending on the consistency you prefer), but still creamy.
Drink your homemade Ayran!
The trick is done! You have made a real Turkish Ayran at home! Drink it with meat, especially if it is spicy. Enjoy your meal!