Ayran is a Turkish beverage that is typically prepared of yogurt. This white colored, frothy drink is quite popular in various Balkan regions, central parts of Asia and in Middle Eastern countries. Some of the popular regions where Ayran recipe is fondly prepared are Albania, Bosnia, Greece, Lebanon, Syria and turkey. This drink is commonly called with different names in all these regions. In Albanian cuisine Ayran is known as ‘dhalle’, ‘than’ in Armenian cuisine, ‘ayryan’ in Bulgarian cuisine and ‘ariani’ in Greek cuisine.
An Indian beverage called ‘lassi’ and Iranian ‘doogh’ are quite similar to Aryan. This beverage is typically consumed in summer season as a refreshing cold drink that is seasoned with very minimal ingredients.
It is not only a household drink, but in various parts of world it is a main inclusion in menu cards of many fast food joints and dining houses. Some of the most popular fast food joints that serve Ayran as an appetizer drink are ‘Mc Donald’s’ and ‘Danone’. Turkey and Bulgaria are the main countries where these fast food joints are offering this popular drink, whereas many big eateries in Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon and Israel serve ayran.
Though there is one basic ayran recipe, but variations can be done by adding distinctive and healthy ingredients.
Although there is no documented history of Ayran in existence, this highly nutritious drink is said to have originated in Turkish cuisine. The popularity of this drink has spread to other parts of the world from its place of origin. In Turkey, ayran recipe is invented with a view to preserve yogurt by adding little salt. With the changing times, the recipe for this drink had undergone many changes and is still prevailing in various cuisines with little or no variations.
The basic recipe of ayran is traditionally prepared with yogurt, water and salt. The salt used is generally rock salt. Cucumber juice is also added in some recipes in place of water. Finely chopped mint leaves and garlic flavored cucumber juice are some of the highly favored ingredients for making Ayran in many regions such as, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In addition to cucumber juice, minced cucumber flavored with garlic powder may also be incorporated to give a new variation to the drink.
Ayran is a very simple drink that is prepared with mixing method. It can either be mixed manually or blended in a food processor until frothy and produces foam. Yogurt is diluted with water, or cucumber juice or both in equal proportions. Little salt is added to give flavor to the drink. Garlic is added usually in powder form. For extra flavor chopped mint leaves are added while blending. Mint may also be incorporated at the time of serving.
Cucumber pieces should be added to the food processor in order to include minced cucumber. Preparation of ayran recipe is easy and it can be prepared beforehand and kept in refrigerator until served.
Ayran is a summer drink and usually served chilled as an appetizer. It goes quite well with doners, pastries and kebabs. This drink may also be served with main course dishes. Various street foods and fast foods are commonly eaten with ayran.
It is typically served in tall glasses or in big juice or beer glasses. It is a refreshing drink, hence, it can be consumed any number of times in a day.
Ayran is a highly nutritive drink due to the presence of various beneficial ingredients. Yogurt being a dairy product is high in protein and calcium. Other components such as cucumber is highly refreshing and full or nutrients. Garlic, salt and mint are refreshing as well as healthy.