How to make ayran (salty yogurt drink)

How to make this refreshing drink with just 3 ingredients

Glass of homemade ayran

I know the idea of yogurt drink that isn’t sweet (but salty) seems weird, but if you are looking for a different yoghurt drink, give ayran a try!: this savory yogurt drink is delicious on it’s own and it also matches perfectly with meals.
And the best part: ayran is ridiculously easy to make at home.
Find out how to make a delicious and healthy ayran in less than 2 minutes.

What is ayran?

Ayran is a refreshing beverage made of plain yogurt, some water and salt.
While it is quite known as a Turkish national drink, this beverage is popular in Mediterranean cuisine in general (it’s for example also know as Iranian doogh and in India, as namkeen or salty lassi).

Reasons to make homemade ayran

  • This Turkish yogurt drink is one of the best drinks in a hot summer day: it’s very enjoyable and drinking ayran feels like it rehydrates you after losing salt due to the sweating.
  • Thanks to its content in yoghurt, ayran is packed with gut friendly probiotics and a it’s a great source of protein and calcium.
  • Most of the manufactured ayran and also ayran from restaurants are too salty for my taste, so I prefer making it myself, so I can choose how much salt is in.
  • When making it at home, you can substitute the natural yogurt for other alternatives, so you can easily get a vegan version.
  • It’s much cheaper making it at home.

How to make a vegan version of ayran

To make vegan kefir, you can use vegan yogurt or you can just substitute the yogurt with homemade soy kefir.
Depending of how creamy your kefir is, you might need less water than when using yogurt.

Some common questions about homemade ayran

Making ayran is so easy, there is almost no need for a recipe: you don’t need to cook anything, you can make it with the equipment you have and even the ratio or ingredients is up to you.

Having said that, here are some tricks you may want to know to make ayran.
Don’t forget also to check below the exact ayran recipe that works best for us.

What’s the difference between lassi and ayran?

While many lassis have added sugar or fruit, turkish ayran is plain and salty.
Salty lassi (namkeen lassi) is usually spicier because it often have cumin, whereas ayran doesn’t.

Which yogurt is best to make ayran?

Because this is such a plain recipe, the better quality the yoghurt you use, the better your ayran tastes. 
Traditionally, ayran is made with Turkish yogurt, which is quite thick, similar to Greek yogurt. 
But in my opinion, this recipe works with every kind of regular yogurt, as long as it doesn’t contain any kind of sweeteners or aromas
If you’d like your Ayran to be creamier, I recommend using thicker types of yogurt; but if you want it with a lighter touch, go on with low fat yogurt.

What is the ideal ratio yogurt:water to make ayran?

The ideal proportion depends on your preferences.
I like to use two parts of yogurt for every part of water (2:1), which means, if I use 2 cups of yogurt, I add 1 cup of water.
This gets a quite decadent consistency: if you’d like a thinner ayran, you can add slightly more water (the already made ayrans I’ve bought in supermarkets are quite runny).

What equipment do you need to make homemade ayran?

You can perfectly make ayran with the most common kitchen tools, like a spoon, a whisker or just a jar with a lid (and shake it like a cocktail). 
On the more “gadgety” side, you can mix the ayran ingredients with a battery operated milk foamer or a blender.
My favorite choice is using a blender: almost everyone has one and you can mix everything together from the beginning (plus, you get some foam on top).
If you mix the ayran with a spoon or a whisker, the trick to get a smooth consistency is to first whisk the yogurt until creamy (it takes just a couple of seconds) and then gradually add the water.

How to get foamier ayran

Some kebab restaurants have special equipment that keep moving the ayran, so it comes with a nice foam layer.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get so much foam with homemade ayran, but using a blender, battery operated milk frother or shaking it in a closed jar helps (some also say that switching some of the water with sparkling water makes the ayran foamier, but I haven’t tried it yet).Foamy ayran

Ayran served with mint and cucumber slice
5 from 4 votes

How to make homemade ayran

A refreshing salty jogurt recipe ideal for hot summer days or to accompany Mediterranean cuisine
Print Recipe
Prep Time:1 min
Total Time:1 min

Equipment

  • Blender (desirable but not compulsory)

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Plain jogurt
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt (I prefer less salt, but the amount is up to your taste)

Instructions

  • Blend the natural yogurt, water and salt until combined.
  • You can add more yogurt, water or salt to taste.
  • Serve cold and/or with some ice cubes (if you want it to look fancy, decorate with mint and a cucumber slice).

Notes

Variations:
  • you can also blend with fresh mint, dried mint, garlic, chopped dill or cucumber
  • to make a vegan version, swap the yogurt for homemade soy kefir (depending on the thickness of your kefir, you might need to add less water)

Nutrition

Calories: 150kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: fermented, probiotics, vegan, yogurt
Servings: 2 Glasses
Calories: 150kcal

Did you try this ayran recipe? Let me know how did you like it!

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love ayran! I bet homemade is much cheaper than bought, thanks, I didn’t know it was so easy to make.

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