Alternative namesDoogh, Dove, Dhallë, Daw, Çeqilmast, Xynogala, Chalap, Tan, or Yogurt Milk
TypeFermented fairy product
Region or stateCentral Asia, West Asia, Balkans
Serving temperatureCold or lukewarm (depending on preference)
Main ingredients
  • Yogurt, water, salt (typical)
  • Milk, fast ayran culture (industrial production for restaurant consumption)

Ayran, doogh, dhallë, dew, avamast, mastaw, shaneena, or xynogala is a cold savory yogurt-based beverage popular across Central Asia, West Asia, Southeastern Europe, North Asia and Eastern Europe. The principal ingredients are yogurt, water and salt.[1][2][3][4] Herbs such as mint may be optionally added. Some varieties are carbonated.


Ayran (cf. airag in Mongolian: 'mare milk',[5] uyran (уйран) in Chuvash: 'buttermilk')[6] is mentioned in Mahmud al-Kashgari's 11th century Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk, although he did not give any information how ayran was made.[7] The word is derived from the Old Turkic root adır- ("to separate"), cf. Turkish ayır- ("to separate").[8]


Ayran is served chilled and often as an accompaniment to grilled meat, bread or rice,[9] especially during summer.[10] It is made by mixing yogurt with chilled or iced water[11] and is sometimes carbonated and seasoned with mint.[12][13] It has been variously described as "diluted yogurt"[14] and "a most refreshing drink made by mixing yogurt with iced water".[15]

The traditional way of preparing the drink among various Iranic peoples is straight from milk, without yogurt, using a waterskin, known as mashk (مشک) in Luri, Kurdish and Persian in Iran, and maskah (مسکه) in Afghanistan. This is done by pouring the milk in the waterskin, usually made of deer or sheep skin, and shaking it for hours, sometimes using a wooden structure to keep the waterskin above the ground with woolen strings to make the task easier.[16][17] In Pakistan, ayran is sometimes called Namkeen Lassi (نمکین لسی).[18]


A type of Ayran was developed in Central Asia and historically was consumed by Turkic tribes.[19] According to Nevin Halıcı, ayran was consumed by Turks in Central Asia.[14] A c. 1000 CE Turkic dictionary, Dīwān ul-Lughat al-Turk, defines ayran as a "drink made out of milk".

Similar drinks exist elsewhere, such as doogh (دوغ), an Iranian fermented drink[20][21] that has long been a popular drink and was consumed in ancient Iran (Persia).[22] Described by an 1886 source as a cold drink of curdled milk and water seasoned with mint,[23] its name (Doogh) derives from the Persian word for milking, dooshidan.[12]

Other similar drinks include t’an (Armenian: թան) in Armenia and lassi in the Indian subcontinent; however, they can differ from doogh.[24][25]

Regional names of the drink and its variations are: Albanian: dhallë; Arabic: شنينة šinīna or عيران eayran; Kyrgyz: chalap; Azerbaijani: ayran; Bulgarian: айрян Kurdish: çeqilmast, dew, do; Pashto: شلومبې shlombey; Persian: دوغ, romanizeddūgh; Syriac: ܕܘܓ̄ܐ daughe; Greek: ξινόγαλα xinogala or αριάνι ariani; Pontic Greek: αΐραν ayran; Turkish: ayran.


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Salt, black pepper, dried mint, and lime juice can be mixed in. Diced cucumbers can be added to provide a crunchy texture to the beverage. Some varieties of doogh are carbonated. In Balkan countries, the drink is usually consumed for breakfast or lunch, usually combined with pastries like banitsa, börek or other pastries.

In Afghanistan, ayran (known as dogh, also spelled dough, or shromba) is a summer beverage. It is made with yogurt, salt, mint, diced cucumbers, lime, and is sometimes carbonated. It is enjoyed alongside bolani, Afghan flatbread, and other picnic foods.

In Albania, ayran is known as dhallë and is made exclusively with yogurt, salt and water and it is served cold. The name 'dhallë' comes from mixed and shaken.

In Southern Cyprus, ayran, known as ayrani (αϊρανι) in Greek, is made with sour sheep yogurt, water, salt and mint.

In Russia and some other Slavic countries, the local variant is called kefir which houses a similar taste but is instead made using fermented milk from kefir grains.

Turkish national drink status

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a Turkish politician who has held the posts of President and Prime Minister, has promoted ayran as a national drink. Speaking at a 2013 WHO Global Alcohol Policy Conference held in Istanbul, Erdoğan contrasted ayran with beer, which he claimed was a recent introduction to Turkey.[26]

Nevertheless, sales of ayran in Turkey lag behind other non-alcoholic beverages. According to a 2015 joint statement from the Soft Drink Producers Association, the Sparkling Water Producers Association, and the Milk Producers and Exporters Union of Turkey, ayran consumption during Ramadan had declined every year for the years 2010 to 2015.[27]

In 2015, Turkey's Ministry of Customs and Trade imposed a 220,000 TL fine (approximately $70,000) on state-owned Çaykur manufacturers, stating that ayran had been "insulted without reason" in one of their advertisements for iced tea, in which the rapper Ceza rapped that ayran makes him sleepy; the ministry halted advertisements of Çaykur's competing iced tea product.[28]


See also


  1. ^ Tamime, A. Y., ed. (2008). Fermented Milks. John Wiley & Sons. p. 124. ISBN 9781405172387. Archived from the original on 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  2. ^ Jacobson, Sarina; Weiner, Danya (2008). Yogurt: More Than 70 Delicious & Healthy Recipes. Sterling. p. 6. ISBN 978-1402747595.
  3. ^ Strnadel, Leslie; Erdley, Patrick (2012). Bulgaria. Other Places Travel Guide. Other Places Publishing. p. 58. ISBN 9780982261996. Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  4. ^ Nazif Shahrani, M. (2013). The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan. University of Washington Press. pp. 92–93. ISBN 9780295803784. Archived from the original on 2019-12-12. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  5. ^ Martine Robbeets; Alexander Savelyev (2017). Language Dispersal Beyond Farming. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 145. ISBN 9789027212559.
  6. ^ Zhazira Otyzbay (September–October 2019). "Türk Dünyası Araştırmaları" (in Turkish). 123 (242): 219–232. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Reşat Genç (1997). Kaşgarlı Mahmud'a göre XI. yüzyılda Türk dünyası (in Turkish). Türk Kültürünü Araştırma Enstitüsü. p. 248.
  8. ^ Maksudovna, Matkarimova Sadokat. "Explanatory Dictionary of Khorezm Dishes." Electronic Research Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 2 (2020): 247–252
  9. ^ "Turkish Buttermilk". www.kultur.gov.tr. Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey. Archived from the original on 18 December 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  10. ^ Gina Husamettin (24 May 2013). "Ayran – Turkish national beverage". balkon3.com. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  11. ^ Davis, P. H. (1956). "Lake Van and Turkish Kurdistan: A Botanical Journey". The Geographical Journal. 122 (2): 156–165. Bibcode:1956GeogJ.122..156D. doi:10.2307/1790844. JSTOR 1790844.
  12. ^ a b Islamic Republic of Iran (26–29 January 2009). Project Document for a Regional Standard for Doogh (CX/NEA 09/5/8) (PDF). Tunis, Tunisia: United Nations. Joint FAO/WHO food standards programme of the FAO/WHO coordinating committee for the Near East. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-18. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  13. ^ Yildiz Fatih (2010). Development and Manufacture of Yogurt and Other Functional Dairy Products. CRC Press. p. 10. ISBN 9781420082081. Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  14. ^ a b c Halici, Nevin (27 April 2013). "Turkish Delights". Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. University of California Press. 1 (1): 92–93. doi:10.1525/gfc.2001.1.1.92.
  15. ^ Lake Van and Turkish Kurdistan: A Botanical Journey P. H. Davis The Geographical Journal, Vol. 122, No. 2 (Jun., 1956), pp. 156–165 Published by: The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Article doi:10.2307/1790844
  16. ^ "آیین مشک زدن ( استان چهار محال بختیاری )". آپارات - سرویس اشتراک ویدیو. Archived from the original on 2015-11-09. Retrieved 2020-08-28.
  17. ^ "تهیه لبنیات مثل ماست، دوغ،روغن، و پنیر روستائی کار ساده ی نیست. - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Archived from the original on 2020-08-31. Retrieved 2020-08-28.
  18. ^ Ramineni, Shubhra (2012). Entice With Spice: Easy Indian Recipes for Busy People. Tuttle. ISBN 9781462905270.
  19. ^ Cooking through History: A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Food with Menus and Recipes, ABC-CLIO, 2020, p. 23, ISBN 9781610694568, ayran was a nonalcoholic drink of yogurt and water developed among early Turkic tribes at an unrecorded date
  20. ^ Nishinari, Katsuyoshi (2019-12-31). Textural Characteristics of World Foods. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-119-43079-7. Archived from the original on 2020-12-18. Retrieved 2020-10-31. Doogh is an Iranian type of traditional fermented dairy-based drinks that is usually produced by mixing set or stirred yogurt and water at the same rate, as well as some aqueous extracts of local herbs, and spices such as thyme.
  21. ^ Katz, Sandor Ellix (2016). Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition. Chelsea Green Publishing. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-60358-628-3. Archived from the original on 2020-12-18. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  22. ^ Simmons, Shirin (2007). Treasury of Persian Cuisine. Stamford House Publishing. ISBN 978-1-904985-56-3. Archived from the original on 2020-12-18. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  23. ^ Grosart, Alexander (17 July 1886). "Soor-doock" and "doogh". The Academy and literature. Vol. 30. Blackburn. p. 59. Archived from the original on 18 December 2020. Retrieved 31 October 2020.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  24. ^ Nishinari, Katsuyoshi (2019-12-31). Textural Characteristics of World Foods. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-119-43079-7. Archived from the original on 2020-12-18. Retrieved 2020-10-31. Doogh consumption is common in Asian countries (e.g. ayran in Turkey, than in Armenia, lassi in southern Asia). However, they may differ from doogh in dilution ratio, rheological characteristics, fat content, and sensory properties.
  25. ^ "Ayran". Etimoloji Türkçe (in Turkish). Telif Hakları. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  26. ^ "PM says Turkey's national drink is doogh, not beer". Zaman. 27 April 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17.
  27. ^ "Turks turn away from 'national drink' despite Erdoğan". Zaman. 22 June 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17.
  28. ^ Çelikkan, Erdinç (9 November 2015). "State-owned tea firm fined 220,000 liras for 'insulting ayran' in ads". Hürriyet.