Ayran - a drink with amazing properties
Ayran is an integral part of the traditional cuisine of the Turkic, Caucasian and Balkan peoples, in its consistency it is very similar to our kefir or yoghurt, but it has its principal differences. As you might have guessed, ayran belongs to the group of fermented milk products, and as a basis for its preparation is used katyk, a kind of leaven, which results from the crossing of milk and special bacteria.
From all other types of sourdough, which, for example, are used in yogurt or kefir, Katyk differs in that it is prepared from boiled milk, which ensures its greater degree of fat content.
In different languages and in different nations, the name and technology of preparation may vary slightly, but the meaning remains general - it is a fermented milk product that perfectly quenches thirst and hunger.
By the way, in the East he is credited with magical properties and divine origin, the ancient recipe for a fertile drug was passed from old men to youth, he was kept in secret and was always surrounded by a large number of legends and fairy tales.
Homeland of this drink is considered to be Circassia, however, practically in every village or village the recipe can have its own peculiarities. Since we are talking about nomadic peoples, it is not difficult to guess that their main task was not just to make a tasty and nutritious drink, it is important that it is well preserved and easily transported. That is why in the classic version ayran is very thick, almost like sour cream.
In sedentary peoples, the consistency of airan is liquid, for this it is diluted with spring water or milk. Strict proportions are not here, and hence the final result will depend only on personal preferences and tastes.
As we have said, the recipe of this drink is passed from generation to generation, but today it has long been produced on an industrial scale, which means that Ayran can be easily found on the store shelf, but still not everywhere, and the taste will differ from the one that you can get if you cook it at home.
It is completely easy to learn how to make ayran, especially since in the home version you can use various fillings and additives that will make its taste even better and richer.
As it turned out, airan is not only nutritious and tasty, but also very useful! The peoples of Central Asia call it a drink of long-livers with great pride, because the systematic use of ayran is a direct path to good health.
Home ayran perfectly quenches thirst, especially if it is mixed with spring water or water from mineral springs. In addition, it satisfies hunger, is able to give the body the necessary tone and vigor.
Among other things, this miracle drink boasts other equally important properties: improving the cardiovascular system, strengthening the nervous system, normalizing the intestinal microflora and duodenal ulcers, saturating tissues with oxygen and improving the brain.
Ayran has a beneficial effect on the metabolic function, amino acids and fatty acids that are included in its composition, are well absorbed, which is why it is successfully taken by overweight people as a means of losing weight.
In order not to harm your body, the use of ayran should be treated with caution to those people who suffer from gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcers.
With great pleasure the sedentary and nomadic peoples of the Caucasus used all the healing properties of such a drink, indeed, curing many diseases with its help. Interestingly, Caucasian healers are still convinced that Ayran is even able to resist the snake's poison.
How to cook?
There are a lot of recipes for making such an unusual dish, they all differ among themselves, and it is probably impossible to name the only correct one among them. We will give a few recipes that are as close as possible to those drinks that are still prepared by the harsh inhabitants of the Caucasus. So what do we need?
- Special starter - katyk or suzyma;
Traditionally, Kazakhs use goat, sheep or cow's milk, they prepare a sourdough from it, which, as a result, is diluted with water in proportion: 2 parts of katyk to 1 part of water. Everything is salted and crushed ice is added. It is important to remember that water is less likely to ferment, so it is necessary to cook airan immediately before serving, or, before use, it must be thoroughly shaken.
The thickness of the resulting drink can be adjusted: to reduce the amount of water and ice,and in order to get the taste exactly the same as at home, it is important to use the water from the thawed mountain springs.
If you haven’t found one like that, which is not surprising, then you can get by with an ordinary mineral water with a low degree of carbonation and no smell of sulfur. This is a recipe that is most often used by sedentary peoples. But another option, which was popular among the nomads, you will need to prepare it:
- leaven - 40 g;
- milk - 220 g;
It is not necessary to use traditional katyk as a starter, sour cream, kefir or even yogurt will do. Milk needs to be brought to a boil, and then allow it to cool to room temperature.
Next, we add a leaven to it, mix everything thoroughly, pour it into ceramic or porcelain containers, cover them with something, for example, small lids, and leave the drink to “ripen”, which lasts about 5-6 hours.
In airan, for a change, you can add different fillings, for example, the additive in the form of fresh cucumbers is very popular. Cucumbers are rubbed on a fine grater, added to the starter, for taste you can add a couple of drops of olive oil and a teaspoon of crushed mint.Everything is mixed thoroughly so that the oil does not remain on the surface.
Ayran combines very well with herbs, for example, basil, cilantro or mint. Also, as a filler, sometimes fruits are used, for example, green apple, pear or banana. If the drink will be served to the main meat dishes as a savory addition, then you can add a pinch of cumin, paprika or coriander.
Particular attention is paid to confectionery mint, it is she who allows you to achieve a cooling and tonic effect that perfectly quenches thirst.