Those of you who were with me through my hot cross bun project a few weeks ago may remember me talking about an Iranian fellow who runs a high-end gyro shop down the street (you know, the Budweiser Lent Headquarters). Back when he first opened the place about a year and a half ago, he served a Persian fresh-fermented yogurt drink called doogh. This stuff reminded me of some of the yogurt drinks I encountered many years ago on a trip to the (then) USSR. The big difference was that it was salty and peppery, with a strong mint flavor. The first swig was rather surprising, but once my expectations were adjusted I found it extremely addictive. Of course it wasn’t long before he stopped carrying it, since I was the only one who ever bought any. The good news is that it’s easily made at home. Or perhaps the more accurate term is fabricated, since the bacteria that are responsible for its high CO2 content aren’t easy to culture in North America. You can approximate the original by combining yogurt with bottled soda water (ideally soda water that’s gone at least a little flat, since industrial carbonation is quite harsh). I’ll tell you, this stuff goes great with kebabs. Here’s the formula:
8 ounces whole milk yoghurt
12 ounces club soda
1 tsp. chopped fresh or dried mint
1 tsp fresh or dried pennyroyal (if you can find it)
1/2 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Put all ingredients in a small pitcher, whisk to combine, and refrigerate for several hours. Stir again before drinking, pour over ice if desired.