Turkish Ayran is a yoghurt-based drink served icy cold, but what may surprise you is that it’s not at all sweet. It’s salty! Sounds strange, but the end result is a refreshingly addictive beverage that goes perfectly alongside a hot spicy meal or a big plate of kebabs.
The only real savoury yoghurt exception was tzatziki (pronounced tard-siki by our Wandermum hehe), which by long-standing family tradition will always be brought out on curry nights along with the curry, rice and paratha bread.
So when we first came across ayran in all its yoghurty, salty glory, you could say we were pretty surprised.
After a full-on day of sight-seeing in Turkey’s gorgeous capital city of Istanbul, our latest couchsurfing hosts invited us into the kitchen to try a traditional Turkish drink.
The first sip stopped us in our tracks.
After the second sip our taste buds were starting to understand.
And by the third? We were completely hooked!
Ayran is insanely popular the Middle East and especially Turkey where it’s considered the national drink.
We even found it at the supermarket in Turkey, which was ultra convenient when travelling. (So I DID carry a spice kit AND a saucepan in my backpack, but a blender might have been pushing things a bit too far. 😛 )
But why would you, when it is so easy to whip up a fresh batch of ayran at home in less than 5 minutes?
All you need is natural yoghurt, water, and salt. THAT’S IT for the authentic Turkish recipe, which reminded us a little bit of Indian lassi without the mango or strawberry flavour.
But if you’re feeling creative, we’ve got a few suggestions on how to mix things up a bit.
- Use soda water instead of still for a refreshing fizz.
- Add some finely diced cucumber and/or mint for extra flavour.
- Throw in some ice cubes before blending for an icy crunch.
- Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even add a sprinkling of cracked black pepper for a spicy hit!
If you feel like a sweeter treat after this salty beverage why not try our Ridiculously Fun Malaysian The Tarik. This sweet, hot and frothy drink takes black tea to a whole new level.
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Super Simple Saturday: Turkish Ayran
- 400 g natural toghurt
- 2 cups cold water still or soda
- Pinch salt
- handul ice cubes
- mint finely chopped
- cucumber finely ficed
- pinch black pepper
Place all ingredients in a blender, rocket blender, or large jug with a stab blender.
Mix until ingredients are combined and drink is frothy.
*I swear, every time we read or say the name ‘Ayran’ we get this song stuck in our heads for the rest of the day!