The last few weeks in Los Angeles have been very hot. And, it's only getting hotter every passing day. And, you know how we're always told you are supposed to drink at least eight to nine glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration. Well, if you're anything like me, I don't step out of the house without bottles and bottles of ice cold water. I LOVE water. I drink more than my body needs. But, sometimes, especially in the summer heat, water is not the only way to quench your thirst.
Growing up in an Armenian culture and household, Yogurt was a major part of our diet. We have many recipes (hot and cold) with yogurt being the base ingredient. There was rarely a store-bought container of yogurt in our fridge. But there was often a big bowl of ‘curing’ yogurt wrapped in a blanket sitting in a corner of the counter. And, to this day, I'll find my mom in the kitchen making homemade yogurt.
As a child when it was hot and we’d been playing outside, we’d come in looking for something refreshing to drink. There weren’t juice boxes or cans of soda in our house. In the summer, there was water and there was Tahn.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love Tahn! Fresh, tangy, with a hint of mint, it is like summer in a glass. It is a refreshing drink that is made with yogurt, water, and salt. Yes, just three simple ingredients, four if you count the garnish. LOL
When it comes to Armenians, Tahn is on top of the summertime beverages list. It is very popular in the Mediterranean and Middle East countries. And, based on the region, this drink has various names. It's more refreshing than any soda on a hot summer day and goes so well with almost any food, especially spicy food.
Tahn is so easy to make and it doesn’t require a blender or food processor. A glass and fork are all that you need.
- 1/4 part plain yogurt (My favorite is the Trader Joe's Organic European Style Yogurt)
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, depending on taste (I enjoy my Tahn with a bit more salt than just the standard pinch, so adjust the amount to your own taste)
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish
In a tall 8 oz glass, add 1/4 plain yogurt, blend with fork until smooth consistency. Add half of the water and mix, and continue adding the rest of the water all the way to top of the glass. Add desired salt to taste. Add ice cubes. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. And serve.
You can either make only one glass for yourself or make a pitcher full of Tahn. My rule of thumb when making Tahn is to add 1/3 to 1/2 part yogurt to your glass, or pitcher, and top the rest with water, depending on the consistency of your yogurt. If you're using a thicker consistency yogurt than the one I use above, I suggest putting less yogurt and adding more water. The ideal consistency of Tahn is smooth, thicker than milk and thinner than yogurt, about halfway in between. It's definitely thin enough to drink, but not as thin as milk (sort of like buttermilk).
In addition to thirst quenching, Tahn is also very healthy. It does not contain sugar. Drinking salty Tahn is one of the best ways to intake sodium during summer months when one can dehydrate and lose salt. In addition one can benefit from the health benefits of yogurt, which is high in protein and calcium.
If you happen to recreate this drink, be sure to share your thoughts with me!