In the spirit of willing Spring to take its place across the globe (okay, just the northern hemisphere. Sorry Aussies!) and drive winter out for good, lets prepare our kitchens! Here is a delicious recipe for a refreshing drink which is good for both your body and taste buds. This type of drink is quite common from Central Asia through the Middle East and all the way into South-eastern Europe. In Turkey it’s known as ayran, Armenia drinks tan, and India calls it lassi. Of course each cultural tradition prepares it in their own way, but in its most basic form they’re all drinking yogurt mixed with water and a bit of salt.
A popular version drunk in Turkey is made very frothy. The yogurt used also widely varies according to region being made from both cow and ewe’s milk, or in the Middle East where it’s made from strained yoghurt which makes it more sour than in Turkey. You can also find the drink made with diced cucumbers to add a crisp crunchy texture. The recipe below is of the Iranian version called Doogh which is also drank widely through all the Middle East and even the Balkans. It has been drunk since the times of ancient Persia and has both a carbonated and non-carbonated variation.
- 1 cup whole-milk yogurt, well beaten
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (or dried mint flakes crushed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups club soda chilled
- Pour yogurt, mint, salt, and pepper into a pitcher. Stir well.
- Add club soda gradually, stirring constantly. Add 3 or 4 ice cubes and mix again.
- Serve chilled.