Whenever I describe the Afghan beverage dough (the “gh” makes a guttural sound in the back of your throat) to my American friends the conversation goes something like this:
“It’s a refreshing yogurt drink ...”
“Is it like an Indian lassie?”
“No, it’s salty, not sweet.”
Silence…and then, “A salty yogurt drink?...that sounds i.n.t.e.r.e.s.t.i.n.g.”
Well, dough is interesting. It’s also refreshing and delicious. It’s a summer drink in Afghanistan usually enjoyed at lunchtime with rice or meat. We don’t drink dough with dishes that contain yogurt such as Aush, Lawang or Aushak. Dough has a reputation for inducing drowsiness. A great nap often follows a meal with a glass of dough (not unlike the French and their wine-soaked lunches).
You could try it like my brother-in-law Brian did at his first Afghan meal. To be polite he decided to order a glass of dough (which I was raving about) along with a beer, which was what he really wanted. He would take one sip of dough and then wash it down with his beer. He didn’t complain but I am guessing they were not complementary to each other.
Cucumber & Mint Yogurt Drink
2 medium Persian cucumbers. peeled and finely chopped
4 cups full-fat plain yogurt
2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste)
3 cups cold filtere water
1 tsp. dried mint or 1 tbsp fresh chopped mint
Add all of the ingredients in a large pitcher or bowl and stir well.Pour or ladle into glasses that have a few cubes of ice.Make sure that you get some cucumber pieces into each glass.
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