In the Middle East, yogurt is not just for smoothies or frozen treats but yogurt is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It is served as a side dish, appetizer, marinade, dessert and is also used in drinks. Shneenah or more commonly known as Ayran is a very popular drink in the Middle East. It consists of three simple ingredients: yogurt, water and salt. Each region in the Middle East has their slight variations of Shneenah. Shneenah is the word used in Iraq and Jordan to refer to this refreshing and cold drink that is so easy to make. Though it’s quite different from many western drinks since the idea of a drink made of yogurt might sound strange but trust me on this one and give it a try, even if with one cup only. You will thank me later. In my opinion, yogurt is great but drinkable yogurt is even better.
Shneenah is especially refreshing on a hot summer day after a big meal. Next time you have a heavy meal, especially a spicy one, reach for a cold glass of Shneenah instead of pop and you will understand what I am saying. Shneenah is served chilled and often as an accompaniment to grilled meat or rice since its thought to settle the stomach. It’s good for digestion (thank you yogurt) and the addition of mint makes this middle eastern yogurt drink even more refreshing! Try something new today. Give this recipe a try 🙂
- 2 cups yogurt
- 1 cup water
- Salt to taste
- dried mint (optional)
- Dilute yogurt with water in a big jug. Add salt, pour into individual cups. Then add 1 teaspoon of dried mint per cup. You can also use a blender or food processor to combine all ingredients except mint. Add the dried mint at the end.
- Serve cold.