SUSTAINABLE FARMING FOR FOOD AND HEALTH

CHAL~ A Traditional Camel Milk Product of Turkmens’ Cameleers

Turkmen! A Traditional Nomadic Community of Central Asia

Turkmen is a native community of central Asia, predominantly live in Turkmenistan but a sizable number is also found in Afghanistan, Iran, followed by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Turkmens are very traditional and have strong connections with livestock and animal agriculture. They are a strong and long traveling nomadic clan of Central Asia and the custodian of the precious sheep, goat, cattle, and camel genetic resources. A major portion of the community is settled in the towns and some are in transition but still, a sizable portion of the community still loves livestock keeping in nomadic style. The community is practicing camel nomadism for ages and owning a very famous and good milking camel breed, the Aravan.

Importance of Camel Milk in Turkmen Community

The Turkmen Cameleer Nomads love camel and camel milk. They, like other camel keepers of the world, have their own traditional camel milk product called CHAL written in Turkmen is CALY.

Chal, the fermented camel milk production, traditionally prepared by Turkmen nomads.

The author reported this story from the Northeaster Iran, dominated by the Turkmen nomads. For more interest, one can read the country camel report of Iran, prepared by Mahnaz Salehi https://arkbiodiv.com/2016/06/19/the-multipurpose-camels-of-iran-world-camels-day/amp/

CHAL

The Turkmen cameleers use fresh camel milk to prepare Chal. It is actually sour camel milk prepared traditionally. It is the same as Shubat in Kazakhstan. After preparation, it has a white color like other milk products but having a strong sour taste. Chal is a summer staple food, the nomads eat bread while taking sips of the Chal. They think Chal is cold in nature and provide a cold environment to the body from the inside. The traditional cameleers also consider Chal as anti-infectious and virucidal.

Also, a camel farm with the size of 500 Arvan camels is producing Chal, Agaran, and cream with the brand name Gudratly önüm. https://business.com.tm/post/4301/turkmen-farm-supplies-fresh-camel-milk-to-consumers. So, it means that Chal is not only made by the Turkmen community but also prepared even at a larger scale in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

Making method

There are certain processes, which are considered as the major steps to make the Chal. The processes are given below in ensuing lines.

Turkmen Cameleers with their famous Aravan Breed

This fermented product of camel milk is very beneficial for gut and colon health; reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure and even has anti-diabetes effects. Also, like mentioned above, the nomadic community believes that it works as anti-infectious and antiviral. https://camel4milk.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/value-of-camel-milk-in-central-asian-traditional-medica/amp/

You can see the composition of plain camel milk and Chal which will give you more clarity about the value of the Chal. The link is provided here to know further about the Chal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chal