Ayran is a 3 ingredient Turkish yogurt drink that is enjoyed all throughout Turkey alongside meals or on a hot summer day. It is a healthy and savoury drink that is extremely simple to make! A few staple ingredients and you have a salty and tangy drink ready in minutes.
Ayran in different cultures
Ayran is a Turkish drink made with plain or greek yogurt, mixed with water and salt. It is often consumed all throughout the middle east as well, such as Iraq, where I am from! In Arabic, it is often referred to as "Laban" which is the Arabic name for yogurt.
Persians also have a drink called doogh, similar to Ayran, and it's served with fresh mint. The Indian version is a sweeter, and sometimes flavoured version called Lassi, usually to compliment a spicy dish. Lassi can also be made savoury. Greeks make Ariani, also in a very similar way. Considering how widespread this yogurt drink is, its really worth a try!
I love making this Ayran recipe in the summer, especially when I want to avoid sugary drinks, because its such a healthy option.
Ingredients for Ayran
The ingredients for Ayran couldn't be more simple, I think that's why this is such a popular drink to make fresh. Here are the main ingredients:
Yogurt: Yogurt is the base for this drink, I would recommend a full fat yogurt for the best flavour. Plain yogurt or Greek yogurt will both work.
Salt: I recommend you start off with a ½ teaspoon of salt, then taste before adding more. Some people may prefer it more salty, it's all preference!
Dry Mint: Mint adds a refreshing flavor, but if you prefer it plain feel free to omit. I would not recommend crushing in fresh mint, as it will make it more chewy and cumbersome to drink.
Cold Water: Slowly add the water to thin out your yogurt.
Fresh Mint: The fresh mint is for garnish if you want a pretty cup, but its completely optional
Ice Cubes: If you want to serve the drink right way, be sure to use ice cubes (instead of placing it in the fridge to cool). If using ice, make the Ayran with less water to avoid a watery drink.
How to make Ayran using a whisk
I feel silly writing these steps out, because you basically just mix everything to your taste. But here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- I like to start with mixing just the yogurt with a bit of water. Mix it vigorously using a whisk, which will get rid of any lumps in the yogurt and create a smooth paste
- Next, add in the salt and dried mint, then a bit more water, and mix again
- Finally, taste and adjust the water and salt to your preference
- Place it in the fridge to cool before serving, or use ice. If using ice, make sure you don't think out the Ayran too much, since the ice will melt and there's a risk it becomes too watery
How to make Ayran using a blender
If you prefer, you are welcome to use a blender for this recipe. I don't, because it means extra clean up, and I don't think it makes much difference. The only thing a blender will give you is a foamy top, if that is what you prefer. Lots of places serves Ayran with foam on top.
You can use a regular blender or an immersion blender. Simply place all ingredients in and blend. I also recommend not adding all the water until the end while tasting and adjusting.
FAQs and Expert Tips
How to fix bland or watery Ayran: One thing you might encounter is adding too much water and the Ayran tasting too watery and bland. To fix this, simply whisk a few more tablespoons of yogurt and add them into the Ayran. This will thicken the drink. You can also avoid this problem by adding water a little at a time and tasting as you go.
How to fix salty Ayran: If your jug of Ayran turned out too salty, no worries! Just make another half batch and mix it in, making sure to avoid adding salt to the new half batch. This will even out the saltiness, and you'll have more to drink!
Is Ayran healthy? Yes, this drink is sugar free and the yogurt makes this a delicious probiotic drink and a good source of calcium, with a lot of health benefits.
Can I add sparkling water? Yes! One variation to this drink is substituting the water for sparkling water, it will make this drink fizzy and a different experience.
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5-Minute Ayran Recipe (Turkish Yogurt Drink)
- 2 cups full fat yogurt
- 2.5 cups cold water
- 2 teaspoons dry mint
- ½ - 1 teaspoon salt, per preference
- Ice cubes when serving
- Fresh mint when serving
- Pour the yogurt in a jug (if your jug has a wide enough mouth, you can mix it directly inside. Otherwise use a bowl).
- Whisk the yogurt to smooth out any lumps.
- Add half the water and whisk.
- Add the rest of the water, dry mint, and salt and whisk well until combined. Taste and adjust the water and salt.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Add ice cubes if serving right way.
- Garnish with fresh mint leaves and enjoy!
- Plain yogurt or Greek yogurt can be used for this recipe
- The mint is optional - this drink is also served plain without any mint (for anyone who isn't a mint fan!)
- If you're going to add ice cubes and have the drink last a while, make sure you make it on the thicker side so that it doesn't end up being too watery when the ice melts