Doogh is a cold, refreshing drink made from fermented yogurt, carbonated water, and mint. It tastes amazing, and can be made right at home! It has an unmistakable tangy, fizzy, refreshing flavor, and is served with carbonated water over ice (and sometimes with mint). It is popular in Iran during the warmer months as a refreshing and nourishing digestive drink.

It is sometimes called yogurt soda, though the word doogh is derived from the Farsi term doushidant, which means “treaty”.

Many Persian meals end with a glass of doogh or Persian Tea, and it is simple to make at home. In this recipe post, I show you how to make it with either yogurt and milk or with a shortcut method using kefir. If you already love fermented drinks like kefir and kombucha, doogh is perfect for you!

Top view of a glass with ice, doogh, and a sprig of mint.

Doogh and kefir are both fermented drinks, and they do have a few key differences. Doogh is a fermented yogurt-based beverage that is typically spiced with mint, salt, and, carbonated water. Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is made with kefir grains and has a tart, sour taste.

🌟Why this recipe works

  • This fermentation only requires an airtight container. No fancy equipment necessary, but I do recommend an instant-read thermometer.
  • We add the yogurt after the milk and water mixture have cooled to 110F. This makes sure we do not kill the yogurt cultures by heating them to too high of a temperature.
  • We let the feed sit at room temperature, which facilitates the fermentation process. This converts the sugar into acid, gas, and alcohol in the yogurt, making it thick and tangy.
  • If you don’t have time to make doogh from scratch, I share a shortcut of combining kefir and carbonated water. You can also buy doogh off the shelf online or at your local Middle Eastern market.

While it is certainly very refreshing and tastes great, doogh is also said to aid digestion. I recommend checking out my article on Garm and Sard foods to understand more about Persian food medicine.

🧾Ingredients in this recipe

Milk and other ingredients to make a lactose ferment.
  • Milk – This recipe is most delicious with whole milk. Make sure to use pasteurized milk that has at least a 2% fat content.
  • Yogurt – Use plain or Greek yogurt for this to work properly. You can substitute yogurt for 1/2 cup of kefir in the recipe.
  • Honey – Optional. I llike to use it because it takes the edge off the tartness. The addition or omission does not affect the fermentation.
  • Carbonated water – Use any unflavored sparkling or carbonated water.
  • Salt – I use sea salt in this recipe.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

👩‍🍳How to Make This Recipe

Start by adding 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of water to a medium sized saucepan. Heat the liquid until it hits 185F, and don’t let it boil. You can check the temperature using an instant-read thermometer.

Remove the liquid from the heat and allow it to cool to 110F. Then add another cup of milk, yogurt (or kefir), salt, and honey.

Pour the whole mixture into a jar and cover it. If you have a jar lid with a vent, make sure to use it. If not, you will have to vent the jar manually a few times during the fermentation process so the glass isn’t at risk of exploding with the gas buildup.

A quart or 1L size is ideal, but don’t use one bigger than 1/2-gallon or 2L.

White liquid in a glass fermentation jar with air vent.

Keep the mixture in a dark, warm place for 2-3 days, venting it once a day to be safe (if you don’t have a vent on your lid).

Once those days have passed, run the fermented mix through a non-metal sieve or squeeze it through a nut milk bag. Then, transfer it to a clean quart-sized jar and refrigerate for up to 1 week, venting it every day. It is ready to use immediately.

To serve your doogh, fill a glass with ice. Serve it 1:1 doogh to carbonated or still water. I like to add dried, ground mint to taste just before serving as well as a sprig of mint for a pretty garnish.

Easy shortcut with kefir

Simply mix together store-bought kefir in a 1:1 ratio with carbonated or still water. Kefir is fermented, so it will produce a similar result to this doogh recipe.

Brandy glass with doogh and a sprig of mint.

Doogh is only the beginning of the amazing Persian recipes that I have to share. Check out some of these classics I think you’ll love.

I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on INSTAGRAM, TIKTOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m up to.

Brandy glass with doogh and a sprig of mint.

Doogh (Persian Yogurt Drink)

5 from 5 votes
Print Recipe Save
How to make Doogh, a yogurt soda enjoyed in the Middle East, easily at home. If you already love fermented drinks like kefir and kombucha, doogh is perfect for you!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Fermenting Time2 days
Total Time2 days 10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Persian
Diet: Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 60kcal

Ingredients

Doogh

  • 2 cups milk see notes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup yogurt or 1/2 cup kefir
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 cups carbonated water
  • Dried mint optional
  • 1 sprig mint optional

Instructions

  • Add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of water to a saucepan.
  • Heat until it hits 185F, but don’t let it boil.
  • Remove from heat and cool to 110F. Then add another cup of milk, yogurt or kefir, salt and sugar.
  • Pour it into a jar** (a quart or 1L size works great, no bigger than 1/2-gallon or 2L) and cover it.
  • Keep it in a dark, warm place for 2-3 days until tangy.
  • Run it through a non-metal sieve or squeeze it through a nut milk bag.
  • Transfer it to a quart-sized jar and refrigerate for up to 1 week, venting it every day. It is ready to use immediately.
  • Fill a glass with ice, and serve it 1:1 doogh to carbonated or still water.
  • If you like, add mint to taste just before serving.

Substitution with Kefir

  • Mix kefir 1:1 with carbonated or still water. Add optional mint to taste just before serving

Video

Notes

** If you have a jar lid with a vent, use it. If not, you will have to vent it a few times during the fermentation process so the glass isn’t at risk of exploding.
This fermentation only requires an airtight container. No fancy equipment necessary, but I do recommend an instant-read thermometer.
This recipe is most delicious with whole milk. Make sure to use pasteurized milk that has at least a 2% fat content.
Shortcut: Simply mix together store-bought kefir in a 1:1 ratio with carbonated or still water. Kefir is already fermented, so it will produce a similar result to your this fermented doogh recipe.
Nutrition facts do not take fermentation or mint into account.

Nutrition

Calories: 60kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 448mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 0.01g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Did you try this recipe?I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a Review to let us know how it came out, if you have a successful substitution or variation, or anything else.

6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe has completely blown my mind! I never thought fermentation could be this simple and never would have thought to make a yogurt soda but the fizzy end result is totally addicting. I shared this with a friend who regularly makes kombucha and she had to have the recipe too.

    1. So glad you liked it, Laurie! I actually found a mint-flavored kombucha last year that reminded me so much of this drink. Thanks for taking the time to share, and enjoy!

    1. Hi Monica, the carbonation comes from the sparkling water. The fermented milk (yogurt) mixture gives it the tangy taste. You still need to vent it, because there is a build up of gas from the fermentation, but it won’t be fizzy like the end product that is mixed with sparkling water. I hope this helps!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I was wondering once it is fermented in the fridge and ready to add to water or soda can I keep some of this ferment aside and use it to repeat the process?

    1. Great question! Yes, you can use it again to repeat the process and treat it as the kefir in the recipe instructions. However, you will only get up to 3 batches before you need to add new cultures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.