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Ayran or Lasi

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Drinking yoghurt, the perfect partner for kebabs

Drinking yoghurt often makes an appearance in the cuisines of many well-known kebab serving cultures. Whether that’s ayran from Turkey, doogh from Iran or lassi from the Indian Subcontinent, where people eat kebabs, they tend to drinkyoghurt too.

Savoury yoghurt drinks ayran and doogh have traditionally been integral parts of both Turkish and Iranian diets.

Turkish historians have recorded that nomadic Turks living thousands of years ago in Central Asia first created ayran by diluting bitter yoghurt with water, long before their descendants migrated to modern-day Turkey.

Nowadays ayran is made by adding water and salt to yoghurt, and the beverage has been hailed by Turkey’s current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the country’s national drink.Many Turks often enjoy cooling off with an ayran when eating spicier dishes such as Adana or Urfa kebabs.

Ayran is also popular in Germany because of the country’s large Turkish-origin community.

Dooghwhich consists of curdled milk, water and mint seasoning, likewise has its origins in the ancient Persian Empire. The word “doogh” comes from the Persian word “dooshidan” which means milking.

Variations of these drinking yoghurts can also be found in nearby kebab-eating countries with historical connections to either Turkey, Iran or both, such asdhallëfrom Albania andtan from Armenia. Afghanistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus and other countries also have their own versions too.

Some variants of the drink can include dried mint, lime juice or even diced cucumbers for a crunchy texture, there are plenty of options to try!

South Asian lassi like ayran or doogh also has ancient origins. Some have claimed that lassi is the world’s first yoghurt smoothie, dating back to the ancient Punjab at over 3000 years old. Lassis can be served as both sweet and savoury. Namkeen or salty lassi for example is prepared and served in a similar way to ayran, while other sweet lassis can include tasty ingredients such as spices, mint, fruit juices or rosewater.

Mango lassi, made from yoghurt, water, mango pulp and sometimes sugar is also a popular favourite in the UK and is often enjoyed next to Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi-style kebabs.

Drinking yoghurts can be served with kebabs in a variety of ways and prepared easily to suit any eatery’s signature style. Available in cartons or pots for takeaways, these refreshing beverages can make a tasty soft drink side for any kebab to go. Ayran or doogh can also be drunk from a traditional-style copper cup in restaurants with a fine dining or authentic feel. Some customers may appreciate a creamy sweet lassi served in a tall glass like a milkshake or smoothie.

One or more of these options could make a fine addition to the drinks menu of any kebab business, why not try them out?

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