Chal is a traditional Turkmen drink made from fresh milk of camels. Its cooking method is so exotic that you can taste a real camel chalice only on the territory of Turkmenistan itself, because the special taste of the product is achieved thanks to the scorching sun, and its shelf life is very short - only a day.
Chal: methods of preparation, characteristics of the drink
The raw material for the future chala is fresh camel milk. An important nuance is that its temperature should not drop below 32 degrees Celsius before the start of the cooking process. In the process of preparation, different starter cultures can be used: yesterday's stew, specially prepared substitutes, pure cultures of lactic acid bacteria. The drink itself can be prepared with or without water.
Cow or sheep’s sour milk called “katyk” is sometimes added to the starter culture, however, the chal obtained in this way is considered to be of less quality and tasty.
To make chal, camel fresh milk, which has a temperature of 37-40 degrees, is filtered through a double layer of gauze. In the process, it cools down to about 30-32 degrees, if this did not happen, you need to wait a bit. Compliance with the temperature regime plays an important role, otherwise the drink will turn out insufficiently fermented. Yesterday's chal in the role of leaven is used most often. Its ratio to fresh milk is about 1/3.
The leaven is added to the container where the drink will be prepared, mixed thoroughly. Already slightly cooled fresh milk is poured on top. The next 10 minutes, the raw materials must be actively mixed, after which the container with the drink is covered with gauze and put in place with a temperature of 25-30 degrees. Since often the whole process takes place in the desert, you need to make sure that the chal insists in the shade. The scorching sun will just ruin the drink. In the cold season, jugs are wrapped up so that the temperature is maintained at the right level.
The first time you can “disturb” the drink after half an hour. By this time, a layer of agaran is gathering on its surface - a substance similar in texture to sour cream (just like sour cream is used). After 4 hours, you need to start periodically stirring the ripening chal to prevent the formation of large flakes.
At the same time, add the following portions of prepared milk, because camels are milked 4 times a day. After 6-8 hours from the start of fermentation, the drink already acquires all the taste characteristics of the finished chal. The next 8-10 hours it is stored at a temperature of 20-25 degrees, and on the second day after preparation - at 5-10 degrees. Although the Turkmens are trying to use fresh chal on the very first day and not leave it in storage until all the taste and healthy properties have begun to deteriorate.
Considering that the main purpose of a camel milk drink is to quench thirst, it is often prepared with water. The cooking technology is similar to that described, but initially pure water is added to fresh milk, heated to a temperature of 30-32 degrees, in a ratio of 1/1. Such a chal turns out to be more uniform and soft.
Nutritional value and beneficial properties of the product
100 g of challah contains 82 kcal, 4 g of protein, 5.1 g of fat, 4.9 g of carbohydrates. It contains:
- vitamins A, E, C and group B.
Due to its low calorie content, the drink is allowed for people with problems of excess weight. Used in moderation, it will not contribute to the appearance of centimeters at the waist.
Substances contained in challa positively affect the condition of the skin, nails, hair and teeth. Magnesium is good for the heart and blood vessels, and iron is an element important for the normal process of blood formation. Copper and zinc help strengthen immunity and increase the body's resistance. The drink has a normalizing effect on the state of the nervous system. Lactose, which is also rich in chal, is good for brain cells. An exotic drink is recommended for use in diabetes mellitus, vitamin deficiency, chronic diseases of the stomach and intestines, anemia and general exhaustion of the body. Its anti-inflammatory and stimulating properties are known.
Possible contraindications for use
Despite the rich and useful composition, in some cases, doctors prohibit the use of a drink. To people with lactose intolerance, drunk chal can cause a lot of inconvenience and provoke poor health. Individual intolerance reactions are also possible, therefore, like any new and unusual products, you must first try it in small quantities. It is not recommended to use the product in a heated form - so it can provoke diarrhea and impaired bowel function.
Fans of exoticism and just those who want to touch and feel the identity of Turkmenistan, local people are always advised to try chal. This slightly carbonated drink not only quenches thirst, but also contains reserves of substances that boost the body's natural resources, immunity and stamina. Rich in calcium, copper, zinc, vitamins, the product carries healing properties. In cooking, it is used as a standalone drink, it is usually used in its pure form and without additional treatments. The only thing that Turkmens like to add to the chal is shredded greens, which sets off the sour milk taste of the drink.