Turkish-Cypriot Cuisine
North Cyprus  

  Ayran (Yogurt and mint drink)
  Time 5 minute Serves

Ayran (Yogurt and mint drink)`I dare say that a man of our country spends more on food in one day than a Turk in twelve... The Turks are so frugal and think so little of the pleasures of eating, [How wrong he is in this last remark!] that if they have bread, salt and some garlic or an onion and a kind of sour milk which they call yogurt, they ask for nothing more. They dilute this milk with very cold water and crumble bread into it and take it when they are hot and thirsty... it is not only palatable and digestible, but also posesses an extraordinary power of quenching the thirst.'

(Quoted in Ferdinand Braudel, `The Mediterranean in the age of Philip II', Fontana 1972 ).

This was what the Fleming G. de Busbecq wrote in 1555 in his `Turkish Letters', while in Anatolia. Times have not changed much as Ayran is still the most common drink offered at any time and particularlu with meals in Turkey and North Cyprus. It is very refreshing and satisfying but also quite filling, so it is best not to serve it in large quantities.

  • 250 gr (8 oz) thick sheep's milk yogurt
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) cold water
  • A little salt
  • Mint -dried or fresh
  Put all the ingredients -except the mint- in a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth and lightly frothy. Alternatively, beat in a bowl with an egg whisker, until well amalgamater. 

Pour evenly to each glass and put some mint on every glass to serve.


  • Vegetarian dishes have been marked with sign
  • Albrecht, M. (1994), Turkish Cypriot and Mediterranean Cookery, Havellia Publishing, London.
  • Salaman, R., (1991), The Cooking of Greece and Turkey, Sainsbury Cookbooks, London.
  • Jemal, H., Cyprus Today, various.

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