August 05, 2010

Doogh - Persian Yogurt-Drink and Homemade Yogurt

Persian Yogurt Drink

دوغ Doogh is a popular and refreshing drink in Iran. Doogh is made with yogurt, water, and salt. However, another variation is to add club soda instead of water for a tastier doogh. Yogurt soda is usually served with kabab dishes, and grilled chicken or it's just served as a cooling and healthy drink. The best kind of yogurt soda is a homemade one where you can adjust the amount of club soda, salt, and yogurt to your liking. I find the store-bought doogh somewhat harsh and hard to swallow. This is very easy and takes little time and effort to make. I like to add almost equal parts of both yogurt and water, considering that the added ice will melt quickly, especially in hot weather, therefore it will dilute the content.

Yogurt Drink (Doogh)

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups whole-milk plain yogurt, whisk until smooth 
2 cups of water
1 cup (8 oz) club soda *optional
Salt to taste
A good pinch of dried mint or other aromatic dried herbs 
A pinch of crushed rose petals
Lots of ice cubes

  1. Gradually combine yogurt and water. Mix well using a hand mixer, blender, or whisk.
  2. Add salt to taste, dried mint, crushed rose petals, and ice cubes, stir well.
Serve chilled.

Persian Yogurt Drink

Dried Herbs For Doogh is a wonderful and aromatic combination of the following herbs:
Dried mint, dried wild mint, dried rose petals, dried wild mountain celery, thyme, and a herb called "tigh daroogh" in Persian/Farsi which is native to the Alvand mountain of Hamadan, Iran.

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade yogurt is refreshing and healthy. Yogurt is so versatile and is used in many Persian recipes and is usually served as a side dish for lunch and dinner. Making homemade ماست yogurt is easy and while the whole process does take some time it is usually ready by the next day. You can use any whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, or skim milk if you like. You can use a few tablespoons of store-bought plain yogurt if this is the first time you're making your own yogurt. Save and put aside some of this yogurt for the next batch of yogurt you make. Also, it's helpful to have a thermometer. Since I bought a candy thermometer a while back, I no longer use the old-fashioned method of using the tip of my finger to tell if the milk is at the right temperature before adding the yogurt.

Homemade Yogurt - Mast-e Khanegi 


1 gallon of milk (whole milk)
1/4 cup whole-milk plain yogurt with active cultures

  1. Pour the milk into a heavy saucepan and place over medium heat.
  2. Place a thermometer on the side of the pot.
  3. Heat the milk until it reaches 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the milk occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool to 110-112°F.
  5. Place the yogurt (with active culture) in a small bowl, add a cup of warm milk to the yogurt, stir well. 
  6. Add the yogurt and milk mixture to the pot, gently stir.
  7. Put the lid on, wrap it with a large towel or a light blanket, and place it in a warm place. It should be left untouched for 10 hours. 
  8. Refrigerate the yogurt overnight or for at least 10-12 hours. 


  1. I love doogh and will have to make this recipe when my friend Sepideh comes for a visit - I'll shock and amaze her with my culinary prowness

  2. Azita, my brother in law parent are Iranian, and his father always make his own yogurt. This post remind me of him. Thx :)

    1. Azita,

      I know the herb that is used in the recipe for Doogh from Hamedan (tigh tooragh). Do you know what it is called in English, if there is an equivalent)? I even remember the shape of the grayish green leaves with thorns on the edges.

    2. Azita,

      I noticed "sabzie Doogh" is from Hamedan. Are you by any chance from Hamedan?

    3. Golnar jan,I don't know its English name.

    4. Anonymous, my parents were born in Hamedan.

    5. Great Blog and amazing high quality photos.

      You made me proud to be from Hamedan!

  3. I tried to make my own yogurt once but it ended up quite disastrous. Interesting drink too. very curous about how it tastes like.

  4. Yesterday it was so hot and humid and i was thinking all day of making ayran, our Lebanese-style doogh; sounds so good and we have almost identical drinks!
    LOVED that Shajarian concert; it made me wish I understood Persian because his voice moved me to tears.

  5. Azita, back in Brazil we used to make our ouwn yogurt...and I totally forgot about it...until now :-) I love refreshing.

  6. Hi Azita!

    Doogh is a favorite of mine - but I go for a spicier version with a fair amount of cracked black peppercorns - cooling and spicy at the same time!


    P.S. changed webhost for Silk Road Gourmet - a slight change in the URL to - THX

  7. I have so enjoyed fliking through, my partner is back in Iran and he used to cook so much....i miss his cooking and now i miss it even more... his rice was always nice and i know its a good thing.
    i will try some of your recipies

  8. Beautiful vibrant photos with the jug in the background. I am just about to post this, too (doogh). I cant believe I waited till the end of summer to do so. I love how you have posted a recipe for homemade yoghurt, too. I love the mix of herbs, wish they were found more easily here in the west. Have you had a lovely summer? x shayma

  9. Azita, thanks for the step-by-step yogurt and doogh directions. I do miss yogurt since going dairy free. Well, not completely dairy free--can't help but enjoy some yogurt now and again. Life is too short, right? I did try making yogurt once at home with a very vague recipe passed down. Disaster! If I try again, I'll use yours as a reference.

  10. I am looking forward to making this. My ex used to make cream with the yogurt and we would eat it with fresh mint and toasted pita bread, he would also have raddish with it. But me no likie raddish. And then he would make yogurt drink with the whey. Oh man was that good. He did all the cooking. My sister would always make sure and take all left overs with her when she visited.
    My biggest regret is I did not write down all the steps to food he made. He moved back to Iran and I am sure he is making a lucky women very happy.
    I do have a receipe book that is written in Farsi and English side by side.
    I guess i will look and see if yogurt is in it.

    Thank you
    persian food lover

  11. TROll la la la la la la la la laApril 30, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    it sounds good i might make it for a school project thanks

  12. your website comes in very handy to me, and will continue to do so if you keep on going with it. Thank you very much. Mamnoonam

  13. Dear Azita,

    First I wanted to thank you for a wonderful site. Your recipes and the accompanied photos are wonderful. I, like yourself, am accustomed to precise proportions and direction when it comes to recipes - So I appreciate the attention you give to this blog. It shines through and through. :)

    Here is a bit of science behind making yogurt which could help to achieve optimal desired results. Hope you and your readers find this useful.


    The Science of Yogurt Culture:

    There are two important concepts for creating thick, creamy yogurt: holding milk at 195ºF for ten minutes before culturing, and allowing the yogurt to set at a lower temperature.

    For a Thick, Custard-Style Yogurt, Choose a Higher Initial Milk Temperature. Standard methods for making yogurt call for the milk to be heated and cooled before culturing, and different temperatures create different styles of yogurt. Yogurt made from milk kept below 170ºF is thinner and tastes fresh, a little fruity and more tart, while yogurt made from milk held at 195ºF for 10 minutes is noticeably thicker and tastes less tart and somewhat creamy/nutty/eggy.

    Protein is Key to Thickening. The more protein in milk, the thicker the yogurt. The casein (protein) clusters in milk thicken yogurt by unraveling and forming a three-dimensional mesh when exposed to the lactic acid created by culturing. Heating milk before culturing denatures one of the main whey proteins, lactoglobulin, which allows it to join in the mesh (instead of remaining inactive) and effectively increases the amount of protein in the milk that will be available to thicken the yogurt. The milk needs to be held at 195ºF for ten minutes to denature most of the lactoglobulin. A little evaporation during this heating also aids the thickening benefits of this procedure. When available, higher-protein, richer milks like Jersey or Guernsey make wonderful yogurt. Yogurt made from milk that had been simmered long enough to reduce the volume by 25% is a thick, smooth and creamy yogurt with the strongest “custard” taste of any of the yogurts we tested.

    Lower Temperatures Give a Better Set. In addition to the quantity of protein available to form a mesh, the stability of that mesh is also important. That stability is determined by the temperature at which the protein mesh forms, i.e., the temperature of the yogurt when it sets. The yogurt will be smoother and more stable (less likely to leak whey) when it sets at a temperature below 104F. Higher temperatures and longer culturing times can cause a lumpy texture and excessive whey separation. An 86F culture makes for perfect, smooth yogurt. However, a temperature that low takes a very long time (12-18 hours) and one must consider food safety issues.

  14. Hello Azita,
    I just discovered your blog and I love it! I am now obsessed with Iranian food. I am Italian and I like the fact that you cook with so many herbs and spices. Thank you so much for this beautiful blog, I am learning sooo much!