Ayran | Middle Eastern Yoghurt Drink

A Summer-time salty yoghurt cooling drink from the Middle East.

I am keen on yoghurt drinks in warmer weather. Somehow they keep me feeling well and balanced. Lassi drinks – India’s contribution to the world of yoghurt drinks – are diverse and wonderful. Smoothies, made with yoghurt, encapsulate the modern trend of blending ingredients together. And the Middle East has much to offer.

This recipe is Ayran/Airyan, a drink claimed by both Turkey and Bulgaria. But it is popular across all of the Middle East. Syrians and Lebanese call it Laban Ayran. In Iraq and Jordan it’s called Shenina. And if you add a little crushed or dried mint to the drink, you’ll have Doogh, the Iranian version of Aryan.

Ayran is a mixture of yogurt, cold water and salt, but there are variations. What makes its Ayran special is that it is quite frothy. For example, one variation, the Susurluk Ayran, comes from a small town, Susurluk, in Turkey. The ingredients are the same, but in Susurluk restaurants cirulate the Ayran through a faucet, using high speed pumps, and this creates a foamy texture with a heavy creamy top. It is very famous, and eaten with a cheese panini-like dish called tost.

Are you after Yoghurt Drinks? Try our Lassis, we recommend Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil, Jeera (Cumin) Lassi, and Mango Lassi.

You can find all of our Yoghurt Drinks here – please browse. Also browse our Middle Eastern recipes here, and all of our Yoghurt recipes here. Or explore our easy Early Spring recipes.

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A Revitalising Cardamon, Cinnamon and Clove Tea

Make a herbal tea to revitalize you. I love this one.

Spiced tea is always intensely interesting. Do try it. This is a take on a similar tea served in India. It is very special both with and without the optional black tea.

You might also like to try Phanta (Basil) Tea, Ayurvedic Teas, or Herbal Teas. Or browse our complete set of tea recipes here and here.  Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series of recipes from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005.

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Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Infusion (Tea)

Aahh, relax!

You find the most magical spice infusions in India. Although I still call them “teas”, technically, they are infusions or tisanes. In India, tea (chai) is only made from the leaves of the tea plant, often supplemented with spices.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series of recipes from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Tea recipes here and here. Our Chai recipes are here. Or browse our Indian recipes here.

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Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea | Ayurvedic CCF Tea

Try this tea/herbal infusion, but not before bed. It is slightly diuretic so may disturb your sleep. It is another of the great Spring Detox teas, all of which are a variation on a theme. This is one of the first such teas that I made, and was instantly aware of its properties. Oh the power of herbs and spices.

Please also check out a similar tea – Pitta Tea – also suitable for Spring. You might enjoy The Making of Herbal Teas, The 5 C’s Golden Spiced Tea, and Yogi Tea. All of our teas are here, and Ayurvedic Hints here. Or simply explore our Early Spring Recipes.

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Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil

You know what? In hot weather I love a lassi, particularly a fruit lassi, for breakfast. Indian in origin, fruit lassi drinks mix yoghurt with fruit, spices and jaggery or sugar.

Today, there were peaches on the kitchen bench, strawberries in the fridge and basil in the garden. A beautiful breakfast was born in the shape of a lassi.

Why not also try our Mango Lassi and our Black Grape Lassi?

We have a range of sweet, fruit and salt lassi recipes for you to browse. You can explore all of our Yoghurt recipes here and here. The Drinks recipes are here and here. Or be inspired by our Early Summer recipes.

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Jal Jeera | Indian Minty Iced Summer Drink

It took me a long time to find the balance of flavours in Jal Jeera that suited me. Some attempts, carefully following recipes in some books picked up in India, were undrinkable. Knowing those books better now, they do tend to get ratios in their recipes out of balance. This recipe is a cracker and works well.

You do have to love your Indian spices though. Jal Jeera is a cooling Summery drink full of spices, with cumin and mint featuring. Do try it – it is a unusual drink for Western palates, but worth trying in hot weather if you do love spices.

Other cooling drinks you might enjoy are Mint and Lemon Verbena Iced Tea, Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger, and Jeera Lassi.

All of our Cooling Summer Drinks are here, or explore all of our Indian recipes. Our easy Early Summer Recipes are here.

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Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint

As soon as the hot weather hits, thoughts turn to iced drinks and drinks that are cooling on the system. Iced teas, iced coffee and juices are our go-to coolers. This juice uses watermelon and is delicious! It is best to buy watermelon later in the season, no early watermelons. They are lacking in the true watermelon taste.

Don’t be afraid to add other cooling juices to the watermelon. Strawberries go very well with this. Cucumber and zucchini too, although green and red juices together go a murky colour. They taste amazing, but are not so visually appealing.

You might like to explore other drinks and juices. Would you like to know how to extract Pomegranate Juice? Or explore our Mid Summer recipes here.

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Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea

When the weather warms, so does the need for cooling drinks. Herbal teas are wonderful. So versatile, they can be sipped in the morning for a refreshing morning break, or drunk iced in the afternoon for a true cooling experience.

Make a whole jug full in the mornings, and put the remainder in the fridge for the afternoon. You can even pour some into ice-cube trays, place a mint leaf in each, and freeze for the afternoon iced tea.

You might like to try some of our other herbal teas – they are all suitable for being served iced during the summer months. Or check out our Drinks in general. You might like to explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Cardamom Spiced Coffee

Are you wishing that you could have a nice spiced coffee, the way that Chai adds spices to the humble black tea to create a wonderful, headily aromatic drink that is both warming and nourishing? Well, you can. Apart from some small pockets of this planet, it has been a well kept secret. But let that be no longer.

The simplest way to spice up your coffee is to add some cardamom. This elixir is common in Israel and the Middle East as well as India. Make your coffee as usual, adding some cardamom seeds, or crushed cardamom pods to the coffee grounds. The bitterness of good strong coffee with the sweet, pungent flavour of cardamom is not to be underestimated. Not only does cardamom coffee taste delicious but in Ayurvedic medicine the cardamom is reputed to reduces the acid in coffee and neutralise the over-stimulating effects of caffeine.

But it doesn’t end there. Other spices can be added too. Cloves, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger can be added – singly or in a mix.

You might also  like our other Coffee recipes and our Chai suggestions.

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Lemon Verbena and Lavender Tea

A healthy tea for the Autumn months. It is gentle but wonderfully flavoured.

Autumn is a marvellous time to trial a range of healthy herbal teas. Often you will have the ingredients growing in your garden. Be careful, of course, choose only edible plants and herbs. This is a healthy tea for the Autumn months. It is gentle but wonderfully flavoured.

Please browse all of our teas here and here. Or be inspired by the Autumn recipes here and here.

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Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea

A tea to take you back to Bali

The combination of strong ginger and lemongrass is quintessential Bali. This is a tea that still features often at our place. Not only is it such a peaceful tea, engendering bliss and well being, it is great for the appetite and digestive system.

You might like our other Tea recipes here and here. Or browse our other Balinese recipes here and here.

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Dried Lime Tea | Chai Noomi Basra

A popular Iraqi tea, it is said to be good for the digestion.

This is a popular Iraqi tea made with dried limes. It is said to be good for the digestion including stomach aches. Dried limes are popular in Middle Eastern and Israeli dishes and can be found in Middle Eastern groceries or herb specialist shops.

You will also love this Fragrant Persian Rose Bud and Borage Flower Tea. Or try Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Tea and Lemon Verbena and Lavender Tea.

Please browse all of our Tea and Infusion recipes here and here. We have some Middle Eastern recipes here and here. Or get inspiration from our Spring recipes here and here.

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Cranberry Tea with Fennel, Cardamom and Coriander Seed

A summery tea, an inspiration from a trip to Kauai.

Summer time is the time for sweet refreshing herbal infusion teas of an evening. You can make them from ingredients that you have in your kitchen. This one came about on a hot summery night on the Island of Kauai.

You might like to also try The Making of Herbal Teas, The 5 C’s Golden Spiced Tea, and Yogi Tea. You can browse all our tea and infusion recipes.

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Black Grape Lassi | Indian Yoghurt Drink

Black grapes give this lassi a wonderful sweet tang.

Lassis are cooling drinks in the summer, refreshing yet satisfying. I often have a large lassi for breakfast. That is the case today – a quiet morning after a full week. Some fresh fruits and a grape lassi. The world is good!

You might like to also try Tomato Lassi or Salt Lassi. Or browse our wealth of lassi recipes. You might be looking for Grape recipes. Please also browse our Summer Recipes here and here.

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Sweet and Tangy Lassi | Indian Yoghurt Drink

This combination is delicious and more-ish.

You will love this lassi. It is one of the few sweet lassis that have been posted here, but it retains a tang due to the lime juice. The combination is delicious and more-ish. Top with a dusting of cinnamon or cardamom powder if you must. Or garnish with slices of strawberry.

Lassi Drinks come in 3 different flavours – fruit, sweet and salty – and sweet is the most popular. It is often available on the street, and as yoghurt is generally made 3 times a day in milk and cheese shops, it is always fresh. They will be served to you in clay cups.

As a rule, a plain sweet lassi is made with a 4:1 yoghurt water ratio while salt lassi is thinner, perhaps 3:1 or even 2:1 ratio. In India the thick layer of yoghurt cream that naturally forms on home made yoghurt is used as a garnish on the lassi. If you want a richer lassi, add a little cream before churning, or put a spoonful of cream on the top and serve with a spoon.

Are you looking for other lassi recipes? Try our Lassi recipes for mango lassi, cumin lassi, raita lassi, chilli and coriander lassi and many others. All of our Drinks recipes are here and here. Or browse all of our Indian recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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