5 Minute Recipes/ Recipes

Super Simple Saturday: Turkish Savoury Yoghurt Drink (Ayran)

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.

Turkish Savoury Yoghurt Drink (Ayran) - This salted drink, ready in under 5 minutes, is your accompaniment to your next burek or kebab. Found in Istanbul, Ayran is the healthy, simple recipe you need. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

Before our little wandering adventure we’d only ever had natural or sweetened yoghurt at home, which we’d most often mix with cereal for breakfast or fruit for dessert.

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.

Turkish Savoury Yoghurt Drink (Ayran) - This salted drink, ready in under 5 minutes, is your accompaniment to your next burek or kebab. Found in Istanbul, Ayran is the healthy, simple recipe you need. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

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!

Turkish Savoury Yoghurt Drink (Ayran) - This salted drink, ready in under 5 minutes, is your accompaniment to your next burek or kebab. Found in Istanbul, Ayran is the healthy, simple recipe you need. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

Turkish Ayran

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?

Turkish Savoury Yoghurt Drink (Ayran) - This salted drink, ready in under 5 minutes, is your accompaniment to your next burek or kebab. Found in Istanbul, Ayran is the healthy, simple recipe you need. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

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!

Turkish Savoury Yoghurt Drink (Ayran) - This salted drink, ready in under 5 minutes, is your accompaniment to your next burek or kebab. Found in Istanbul, Ayran is the healthy, simple recipe you need. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

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.

So who enjoyed their CookNotes this morning in their inbox? What did you enjoy? What did you find the most helpful? Not signed up to receive our CookNotes yet? No problem, you can join us over here and you’ll receive our FREE Vietnamese cookbook too. Word on the street is the Banh Xeo is aaaa-mazing!!!!

Turkish Savoury Yoghurt Drink (Ayran) - This salted drink, ready in under 5 minutes, is your accompaniment to your next burek or kebab. Found in Istanbul, Ayran is the healthy, simple recipe you need. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com
5 from 5 votes
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Super Simple Saturday: Turkish Ayran

An icy cold and salty yoghurt-based drink. 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.
Recipe Type Drink
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 4
Author Wandercooks

Ingredients

  • 400 g natural toghurt
  • 2 cups cold water still or soda
  • Pinch salt

Optional ingredients:

  • handul ice cubes
  • mint finely chopped
  • cucumber finely ficed
  • pinch black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, rocket blender, or large jug with a stab blender.
  2. Mix until ingredients are combined and drink is frothy.
  3. Serve chilled

*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! 

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  • Abdul Waheed
    25/02/2017 at 2:51 am

    Well done Laura & Sarah. I liked your recipe and information you provided about Turkish Ayran Recipe. Thanks for sharing the wonderful thoughts as well.

    • Wandercooks
      03/03/2017 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks Abdul, so glad you liked it! Ayran is such a surprisingly refreshing drink – I think we’ll have to go make another batch right now!

  • Shreyashi
    12/04/2016 at 8:23 pm

    Hey guys,
    So I just had to pop in the moment I saw this on facebook. I had my honeymoon in Turkey and I simply fell in love with Ayran… well Ayran and baklava of course.
    You guys are living the life of most foodie’s dreams… wandercook= wanderlust= pure awesome.
    Cheers!

    • Wandercooks
      15/04/2016 at 5:56 pm

      Thanks Shreyashi! Wow Turkey must have been a magical place for a honeymoon! Haha it is pretty fun have to say. Just today we were just going through all the recipes we gathered on our trip away. We’ve got a whole stack of them from all the amazing people we met, either printed, hand-written, scribbled, emailed etc – so much deliciousness waiting to be brought to life. 😀 So glad you got to have ayran and baklava, they are up there on our list of favourites that’s for sure. Now if only we could source (or make) a batch of Lokum/Turkish Delight…

  • Kristen
    11/04/2016 at 12:06 pm

    I love Yogurt and I am always looking for new recipes. I am going to try this for sure!!

    • Wandercooks
      11/04/2016 at 3:19 pm

      Yoghurt is so deliciously versatile, but who would have thought salty would work so well too 🙂

  • April
    11/04/2016 at 11:43 am

    This looks very interesting and it sounds good. I wish I could drink it now!

    • Wandercooks
      11/04/2016 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks April, wish you could too haha 🙂

  • Sara
    11/04/2016 at 11:23 am

    This looks good. I have never had anything like this!

    • Wandercooks
      11/04/2016 at 3:15 pm

      Neither had we but it was such a surprisingly addictive drink and super refreshing too!

  • Ali from Home & Plate
    11/04/2016 at 11:23 am

    Salty? I will have to mention this to my Greek neighbors. May have to surprise them with this recipe. Sounds good.

    • Wandercooks
      11/04/2016 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks Ali, hope you guys enjoy 🙂

  • Sarah
    11/04/2016 at 9:28 am

    …well now! This has left me completely intrigued and I absolutely must try! 🙂

    • Wandercooks
      11/04/2016 at 9:34 am

      Yes yes, you must! 😀

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