• Almond and Fig

Coleslaw with Yogurt & "Ayran" Dressing

Updated: Jun 19

The origin of the term “Coleslaw” comes from the Dutch word, koolsla, which literally meant “Cabbage Salad.”

Dressings for this cabbage salad is often mayo based but you know it wasn’t always the case. A recipe in The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and New World, made by the author's Dutch landlady in 1770, mixes thin strips of cabbage with melted butter, vinegar and oil. Since mayonnaise was a mid-18th-century invention, coleslaw as we most commonly know it is only about 250 years old.

well you see nothing against mayo or anything (I personally enjoy it) but my entire family doesn’t eat it, so I am always challenged to come up with new ways to substitute. So I came up with the idea to mix yogurt with Ayran and it made for a delicious zesty salad dressing that's lighter and tangier. I hope you will love my twist on this creamy dressing giving it a slight Middle Eastern accent.

Ayran, is a savory yogurt based refreshing summer drink. its a bit like a savory lassi or kefir. Some also call it Shanineh or Laban Mkheeed which translates into shaken yogurt. And I am sure there is many other names for it depending where you are from. It’s pretty much thinned out yogurt with its whey or water, a dash of salt and then frothed up to make a refreshing drink. Sometimes finished with dried mint (the way I love it). This drink is often served with kebabs, bbqs or spicy dishes. It’s often consumed in Turkey, Iran, the Middle East and beyond.

I hope you are going on a picnic, setting for a barbecue or spreading a large beach blanket in the sun, on the sand by the waves this weekend. Whatever it is you are doing I hope you make this refreshing crunchy salad, it makes a great addition to your summer dishes. I have combined a summer must make salad with a my favorite summer drink into one refreshing recipe. Its cool creaminess, crunchy texture, and tangy flavor balances out the richness of smoked and grilled meats and of course perfect to top off your burgers.

Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 -3/4 cup whole milk or 2% Greek yogurt

1/2 cup shanena or yogurt milk drink (if you can’t find this yogurt drink you might substitute with buttermilk or you can make your own. You will find the recipe below)

1/2 tsp of Aleppo peppers

1/2 tsp sumac

1/2 tsp crushed dried mint

1 garlic clove crushed


Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar. Close the lid tightly and give it a big shake and store in the fridge until ready to use.

To make your own Ayran, Shanineh, or Laban Mkheed yogurt drink. Ingredients:

1/2 cup plain good quality thick yogurt

1 cup (Whey) or ice cold water

Salt to taste

Mint (optional)


Blend the yogurt ,water or whey, salt in the blender untill completely frothy.

Serve ice cold with a sprinkling of mint.

Coleslaw ingredients

3 Red cabbage shredded

3 cups white cabbage shredded

2 carrots shredded

3 broccoli stems (shredded)

I head fennel shredded

1 green Apple shredded

1/2 cup fresh mint

Juice of a Lemon (optional, depending on the tanginess of your yogurt)


In a medium serving bowl, combine the prepared veggies, toss without the dressing to combine.

Drizzle the dressing over the slaw and toss until all of the ingredients are lightly coated. Serve the rest of the salad dressing on the side. Taste and add lemon juice if the slaw needs a little more zing. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.

The wonderful thing about cabbage based salads is that they don’t wilt easily making this a perfect summer salad. Pack it for a picnic or enjoy it alfresco with some burgers or kebabs.

#summersalad #coleslaw #yogurtdressing #ayran #shaninehyogurtdrink #summer #crispysalad

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