Ayran with Fresh Mint Leaves
3 cups plain Turkish yoğurt
~1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp salt
4-5 fresh mint leaves
First pound well the mint leaves using mortar and pestle. Then blend the mint paste with yoğurt, cold water and salt for about 35-40 seconds. Pour into the glasses. What could be better than to drink Ayran with Fresh Mint Leaves on a hot summer day:)
Yoğurt has been an indispensable element on Turkish tables. It is consumed plain or as a side dish, and it is a crucial part of Turkish Cuisine. Yogurt is used to make soups, sweets, and the favorite drink ayran, which is made by mixing in water, mineral water and salt. Another reason why Türks hold yoğurt dearly is that all over the world it is consumed and known as “yoğurt,” which is a word of Turkish origin.
About a thousand years ago, Türks were the first to make Yoğurt. The oldest known lexicon of the Turkish language, Kasgarli Mahmut’s Divân-i Lûgat’i Türk has an entry for the same word, and it has the same meaning. At the time, Türks still led nomadic lives and had devised numerous methods to preserve their food for their long journeys. This is one of the reasons why milk was made into yoğurt.
The best quality yoğurt is produced through the fermentation of cow and lamb’s milk. It is not surprising that dairy products made from these animals are Turkish inventions; Central Asian Türks were the first to domesticate lambs and cows. As it was first spreading into Europe and elsewhere, this thick, white dairy product was used for therapeutic purposes; in the 20th century, its daily use spreads all around the world.