Ayran is a super refreshing and healthy Turkish drink. Salty yogurt frothed up to beautiful perfection. It goes perfectly with kebabs and any spicy meal. You need only 3 ingredients and it’s ready in 2 minutes.
This post was originally published in 2013 and we’re updating it with additional information, a new photograph and a video.
What is Ayran?
It is a simple mixture of yogurt, water and salt. Although non-Turkish people are likely to consider it as a summer drink probably because it is refreshing, this easy savory yogurt drink can’t be limited to one season. People in Turkey drink it all year round pairing with anything from Menemen (eggs with tomatoes) to their favorite Borek (stuffed phyllo sheets).
We eat a lot of yogurt alongside the dishes we have for lunch or dinner. It’s very common in Turkey that you have simit (Turkish style bagel) and ayran for lunch. So it won’t be wrong to say that it is as common as water here.
Although it might sound similar to Indian Lassi, it’s different because no sugar is included in this Turkish drink.
How to Make Ayran
Although you can easily find it at supermarkets, I think you’d better make it at home because you need three ingredients and it’s ready just in two minutes. Plus, you can adjust the measurements to your taste and how thick you’d like your drink.
I think you can get the best consistency with 2 cups yogurt and 1 cup water. The amount of salt depends on your taste. My choice would be 1/2 teaspoon.
The only thing you need to do is to place these three ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a blender, you can use an electric hand mixer. Don’t worry if you don’t have either of them. Put the ingredients in a jar, tighten the lid and shake until smooth.
Which Yogurt is Used?
If you make yogurt at home, it is the best. You can definitely use store-bought yogurt as well. Just make sure it’s not sweetened. You can use Greek yogurt too but you will probably need to add extra water as it is thicker.
How to Make Ayran Foam
If you want a lot of foams on top of your ayran, you can substitute sparkling water for water in the recipe. There will be no difference in taste. On the other hand, I don’t think the foams are that important. The tangy and salty taste matters more for me.
How Healthy is Ayran?
Besides being a wonderful thirst-quincher, this Turkish yogurt drink is very healthy too. For one thing, it is good for your digestive system, gut flora and a good source of protein and calcium thanks to yogurt. Also, it’s the best treat when your body dehydrate and lose salt during summer months.
Ayran for Weight loss?
I’ve seen so many Turkish articles claiming that yogurt and the drink made of it helps weight loss. I’m not an expert on this but it’s obviously way better than sweetened drinks. It doesn’t contain sugar, which makes it healthy and I’m sure helps weight loss for those who drinks something sweet daily. What’s more, it helps you feel full for a longer time.
How to Drink Ayran
Ayran is mainly the mixture of yogurt, cold water and salt, but there are some variations. The most popular one is produced in Susurluk, a small town in the West of Turkey. What makes its ayran special is that it’s so frothy. You can imagine how it’s fun to drink it! The first part you have is its froth on the top and then you reach ayran.
In some places, a few sprigs of fresh mint is added to give it more freshness and it becomes like a different drink with this combination! I prefer my ayran plain if I’m having it with some food, but I love to add fresh mint into it if I’m drinking it just for pleasure.
Tourists visiting Turkey might have interesting reactions when they first drink ayran. Although they know the taste of yogurt, some might have difficulty to get used to it. And when they start loving it, they always order it in restaurants. You can read a funny story of my friend’s Julia’s dad when he first bought ayran in her post: Ayran-Yogurt Not Milk. Julia and Barry are a very nice couple living in Fethiye and they share their experiences here related to Turkish culture, food and destinations on their lovely blog, Turkey’s for Life. Go check it out!
Which Foods to Serve with Turkish Yogurt Drink?
Although you can always have it on its own, here are some of my favorite foods to eat with it:
1. Turkish pide
We couldn’t wait any longer and drank the froth on their top! YUM!
How to Make Ayran
A super refreshing healthy yogurt drink that is not sweet but savory.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Total Time: 2 minutes
- Yield: 3
- Category: Drinks
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust to your taste
- Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve cold optionally with fresh mint springs.
If you use Greek yogurt, you will probably need to add extra water for the desired consistency.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 100
- Sugar: 7.6g
- Sodium: 465.9mg
- Fat: 5.3g
- Carbohydrates: 7.6g
- Protein: 5.7g
- Cholesterol: 21.2mg