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Ayran: Turkish Yogurt Drink

Try this super refreshing and healthy Ayran (Turkish yogurt drink) recipe ready in 5 minutes with only 3 simple ingredients. It’s a great thirst quencher and is both healthy and hydrating!

Ayran in glasses surrounded by dill and flatbread.

Ayran (also called doogh, Dhallë, or tan depending on locale) is not only super easy and quick to make, it’s also delicious and refreshing!

It literally takes 5 minutes of your time and is made from only 3 simple ingredients.

I’m sure that many countries claim that ayran drink was first made by them, in fact the origins of this drink go back to 1000 CE Armenia. 

It is widely consumed across the Middle East, especially in Turkey where it is considered a national drink, but also in Iran, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Arab countries. 

I first tried it in Turkey and immediately fell in love with it, so for me it’s a Turkish drink.

What is Ayran?

Ayran is a savory Turkish yogurt drink made from yogurt, salt, and water although you can certainly spice it up as you’ll soon see.

It’s a drink that is served chilled and often accompanies a savory meal of meat and/or rice (as is common in the region where it originates).

It pairs beautifully with curry or other spicy dishes as it naturally soothes the impact of heat on the tongue and feels even more refreshing.

Is Ayran the same as kefir?

While they are similar, and both are considered non-alcoholic fermented beverages, the process of making them is quite different.

Ayran is made from yogurt, whereas kefir is made from kefir grains. The resulting flavors may be similar, although kefir has often a more pungent flavor.

Is Ayran the same as buttermilk?

Some assume ayran and buttermilk are the same. They are not.

Buttermilk is the milk left over after converting milk into butter. Ayran is a chilled mix of salt, water, and already made yogurt.

What does Ayran taste like?

Ayran is refreshing and savory, slightly tart, and salty.

Depending on the herbs or spices one adds to it, it may also be minty or cooling or even garlicky.

You can even swap out the chilled water for carbonated water and have more of a bubbly, savory drink.

A glass of Turkish yogurt drink.

Health Benefits of Ayran

One of the things I love about ayran is its ability to rehydrate your body when it’s hot outside. 

Sea salt (unlike highly processed table salt!) contains numerous minerals and nutrients your body needs on a daily basis, especially when you are sweating. Adding sea salt to your beverages satisfies your thirst and keeps your body hydrated longer. 

In addition, ayran contains yogurt, which is rich in protein, natural probiotics, vitamins and calcium. It keeps to regulate your digestive system and strengthen your body’s natural defense mechanisms.

Ayran isn’t just about flavor, but practically healthy in desert heat…or your backyard on a hot summer day.

How to Make Ayran

This easy ayran recipe takes only 5 minutes and 3 ingredients to prepare.

Greek yogurt would be the best choice for this recipe as it’s thicker and offers the best flavor. 

You can experiment for your own preference if you’d like, but we use a 1:1 ratio of water and yogurt for the best consistency. 

The same with the amount of sea salt: 1 teaspoon for every 500 ml (pint) of yogurt seems just right, but you can feel free to adjust it to your taste. 

Mix everything together and serve chilled. See the recipe card below for details.

Making Flavored Ayran

There are also some interesting ways you can enhance the basic recipe, also. Experiment with adding:

  1. Chopped dill
  2. Finely grated cucumber
  3. Minced garlic
  4. Chopped mint
  5. Chopped parsley
  6. Freshly ground black pepper
  7. Chopped cilantro
  8. Ground cumin
  9. Lime or lemon zest (not the juice)
  10. Crushed thyme

Let me know if you have other ideas in the comments below!

How To Serve Ayran

Serve it in a pitcher or glasses as an accompaniment to any savory meal.

I like to serve ayran drink with Turkish flatbread, pita pockets with roasted veggies and hummus or borek with spinach and feta cheese, for a quick and delightful snack.

It will be a great addition to any dinner or summer barbecue table as well.
Turkish ayran served in glasses with pitchers on the background.

Top Tips

  • Ayran is not only a delicious and hydrating summer drink, it is also super easy to make with only 3 simple ingredients in just 5 minutes.
  • Depending on the consistency you prefer you can adjust the amount of water you add to the yogurt.
  • This ayran recipe makes 1 liter or 1 liquid quart (4 cups) of ayran which is roughly 4 servings (1 cup or 250 ml per serving).
  • Refrigerate ayran in an airtight jar or bottle for up to 3 days.
  • You don’t have to use blender if you are making the basic recipe with no add-ons. Just mix yogurt, water and salt in a pitcher or in a large bowl using a whisk.
  • Serve it with anything savory. Ayran is perfect for summer BBQ or dinner. My favorite ways to serve it is with Turkish flatbread, pita pockets with roasted veggies and hummus or borek with spinach and feta cheese.
  • Make sure to check other summer drinks recipes like homemade ginger beer, non-alcoholic mojito and sweet woodruff lemonade.

Recipe Variations

  • Make this recipe vegan by using plant-based yogurt (opt for almond or cashew yogurt for the best flavor).
  • Experiment with different add-ons like cucumber, garlic, dill, peppermint, parsley, cilantro, thyme, black pepper, cumin, lime or lemon zest (not the juice), etc. The possibilities are endless!

See the recipe below and stay hydrated with this refreshing yogurt drink!

Print
5 from 5 votes

Ayran: Turkish Yogurt Drink

Super refreshing and healthy Ayran (Turkish yogurt drink) recipe ready in 5 minutes with 3 simple ingredients. Perfect thirst-quencher on a hot summer day!
Course Drinks
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Turkish
Keyword auran drink, ayran, healthy drink, turkish yogurt drink, yogurt drink
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 70kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups or 500 ml plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups or 500 ml chilled water
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated sea salt
  • chopped dill / parsley / cilantro / mint / grated cucumber / minced garlic / ground cumin / black pepper optional

Instructions

  • Place yogurt, water, sea salt and optional ingredients (if using) in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Notes

Top Tips

  • Ayran is not only a delicious and hydrating summer drink, it is also super easy to make with only 3 simple ingredients in just 5 minutes.
  • Depending on the consistency you prefer you can adjust the amount of water you add to the yogurt.
  • This ayran recipe makes 1 liter or 1 liquid quart (4 cups) of ayran which is roughly 4 servings (1 cup or 250 ml per serving).
  • Refrigerate ayran in an airtight jar or bottle for up to 3 days.
  • You don't have to use blender if you are making the basic recipe with no add-ons. Just mix yogurt, water and salt in a pitcher or in a large bowl using a whisk.
  • Serve it with anything savory. Ayran is perfect for summer BBQ or dinner. My favorite ways to serve it is with Turkish flatbread, pita pockets with roasted veggies and hummus or borek with spinach and feta cheese.

Recipe Variations

  • Make this recipe vegan by using plant-based yogurt (opt for almond or cashew yogurt for the best flavor).
  • Experiment with different add-ons like cucumber, garlic, dill, peppermint, parsley, cilantro, thyme, black pepper, cumin, lime or lemon zest (not the juice), etc. The possibilities are endless!

Equipment

glass pitcher
spoon
blender

Nutrition

Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 624mg | Potassium: 167mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Follow @happykitchen.rocks on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #happykitchenrocks!
Ayran Turkish Yogurt Drink Pinterest Image
Recipe Rating




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Robert

Saturday 13th of November 2021

How does Ayran compare with Arabic Lassi, especially plain lassi or salt lassi?

Elena Szeliga

Saturday 13th of November 2021

Hi Robert, ayran is similar to salt lassi. The difference is that it has a more mild flavor. However, there are many different variations of both drinks.

Helena

Monday 29th of April 2019

Ayran is the type of a drink that is hard to find around the world but it is also the drink that is hard to forget. You either love it or... not really :-) Simple as that. I can't wait to try your wonderful recipe!

Elena Szeliga

Thursday 2nd of May 2019

Hope you like it Helena! :)

tima

Saturday 23rd of December 2017

i love ayran so much! thanks for all the great add in suggestions.

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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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