Doogh is an original Persian drink. This white drink is made of yogurt, water and salt. Before the onset of a variety of sparkling drinks and saccharine canned juices, this beverage was an uncontested part of the Iranian meals.
The word Doogh originally means “milk” among the Aryan people. That is why nutrition experts attribute this drink to milk rather than yogurt. this is available in different cities in Iran but Iranians consume it in different ways. In some eastern provinces, for instance, doogh is made of goat or camel milk. Besides, people in this region don’t drink it with meals. And it is a drink to offer the guests on their arrival.
The history of the serving of fermented dairy products dates back to 1300 BC. It seems, however, that its production was originated from the Middle East. And then it reached all over Central and Eastern Europe. In different periods, there had been a special attitude towards fermented dairy products. Since the old days, there has been an emphasis on the role and the effect of these beverages in health and increasing human life. As a result, the public, at least in Iran, consider it as a subset of healthy and nutritious drinks.
Traditional or Persian doogh is one of the dairy drinks. In Iran, doogh was considered one of the byproducts of making butter traditionally. But at the moment, this process has changed and Iranians consider this drink as one of the milk-based products. The industrial production of doogh in Iran dates back to about 80 years ago.
Different types of doogh
Doogh is a mixture of yogurt with drinking water, with or without salt. Sometimes aromatic herbs such as ziziphora, mint, and pennyroyal are added, too. This type of doogh might produce Carbon Dioxide. In fact, as a result of the conditions of preservation and the natural fermentation (due to the activity of the micro-organisms present in the yogurt) it becomes carbonated. Accordingly, we have four types of doogh in Iran: carbonated (fizzy), non-carbonated, low-fat carbonated, and low-fat non-carbonated.
Doogh in Persian traditional medicine
The scholars of Persian traditional medicine referred to doogh in their works by its Arabic name, ‘labanalhamid’ (literally: sour milk). In Persian traditional medicine view, the sourer and the waterier the doogh is, the more its coldness and wetness attributes are.
Several years ago, Codex Alimentarius Commission registered Persian doogh as a dairy product on its list. The Codex Alimentarius is one of the major international standards for food industry. Its task is to collect and adapt international food standards and provide it in a single form.
Doogh is a traditional Persian cold beverage served with lunch or dinner. We also flavor it with dried mint powder or pepper mint distillate, dried rose petal powder, and even hogweed powder before drinking. Besides making doogh tasty, these additives moderate the coldness attribute of doogh. Using these spices, we try to drink a healthier drink and help our digestive system to work better.