Doogh – The Yogurt Refresher (aka The Persian Coke)

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Photo taken by Ali Mohagheghi (Instagram: @AliMohagheghi) 

Doogh, a yogurt based drink that is very popular in Iran, as well as neighbouring countries like Afghanistan, Armenia, Syria, Iraq and Azerbaijan amongst others. It is not uncommon for these countries to consume traditionally fermented dairy products. However, each one of these countries prepares this drink differently – some have seasonings, gassy water, salt, or fruit – and of course they each have their own name for it. Doogh is to Iran what Ayran is to turkey and what Lassi is to India.

doogh2Photo taken by Ali Mohagheghi (Instagram: @AliMohagheghi) 

Doogh is the original drink of ancient Persia and has its roots in the Persian word ‘dooshidan’ which means milking, thus doogh means ‘what comes from milking’. It is a cold beverage consisting of curdled milk, fizzy water and seasonings. Iranians tend to prefer Doogh because it’s more sour and gassy than other dairy based drinks.

image2Photo taken by Ali Mohagheghi (Instagram: @AliMohagheghi)

To make it more accessible to everyone the popular brand Doogh Ab-ali has packaged Doogh into glass bottles, which most Iranians drink. It’s bottle is so iconic it rivals Coca Cola. It is indeed so popular that we could say it’s the Iranian equivalent of Coca Cola. But unlike coke, Doogh is a natural, cooling and healthy drink. Doogh can also be made at home vey easily and is traditionally served with food especially with kebab, chicken and meat meals.

doogh5Photo taken by Ali Mohagheghi (Instagram: @AliMohagheghi)

Typically made with yogurt, Doogh has wonderful health benefits. Due to the friendly bacteria found in yogurt, Doogh aids digestion, boosts the immune system, prevents inflammation and other infections. Yogurt also has a cooling effect on the body which is what makes this delightfully refreshing drink very popular on hot summer days. Traditionally it is made by beating yogurt until a smooth consistency is reached. It is then mixed with salt, pepper, dried mint and diluted with water. Carbonation is achieved by allowing it to ferment. It is then chilled in the refrigerator and served cold or with ice.

IMG_7623Photo taken by Ali Mohagheghi (Instagram: @AliMohagheghi)

To someone that is unfamiliar with it, Doogh is indeed an unusual drink. Not knowing what flavour to expect from this milky drink, foreigners tend to dislike it on their first tasting, but it has proven to become a true delight for those who will give it another chance.

To speed up the task, doogh can be prepared very easily and quickly by skipping the fermentation process and using carbonated water such as Perrier or soda. To make 4 servings all you need is 1 cup of yogurt, 3 cups of fizzy water or soda, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbs dried mint and a few ice cubes. Combine all ingredients together in a large pitcher and mix. Garnish with a few fresh leaves of mint and serve cold.

 
ptania Tanya Benet Contributor  Tanya is a certified Health Coach from New York You can find more information, recipes, tips and tricks on www.tanyabenet.com and you can follow her on Instagram @tanyabenet
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