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 the livestock and animal agriculture. They are a strong and long traveling nomadic clan of the 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 love livestock keeping in nomadic style. The community is practicing camel nomadism since ages and owing a very famous and good milking camel breed, the Aravan.

Importance of Camel Milk in Turkmen Community

The Turkmen Cameleer Nomads love camel and the 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 a sour camel milk prepared traditionally. It is the same as Shubat in Kazakhstan. After preparation, it has 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 cold environment to the body from inside. The traditional cameleers also consider Chal as anti-infectious and vurucidal.

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 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.

  • The fresh camel milk is sourced in a skin bag, mostly sheep or goat skin or a ceramic jar (a modernized container).
  • Add already soured milk (more old, more and more strong culture to make Chal). The sour milk maybe from camel or other livestock, mainly cow, followed by goat and sheep.
  • The mixture is stored in the container as mentioned above, get airtight, shaken to properly mix and store to get fermented.
  • In the meanwhile fresh camel milk is added on different intervals for the next 2 to 3 days. But the chal can be used after the 8 hours of fermentation, though more time means more stronger and delicious Chal.
  • Camel milk fermentation needs longer time period then the other milks, i.e. the cow milk needs 4 hours to be fermented but for the same amount the camel milk needs double time, 8 hours at 30 centigrade temperature.
  • If the weather is cooler, then it needs more time to be fermented as camel milk needs more than 72 hours at 10 C temperature to be fermented.
  • If strong and highly sour milk is used for fermentation, then a thick layer appear on the surface of the Chal, which is known as AGARAN (fermented fat).
  • After the removal of the AGARAN, the leftover is called as Chal which is also called DOUGH in Persian.
  • But if we want it be sourer and more tasty we can leave it again for 4 or 8 hour s in 20 to 25 c to be more carbonated.
Turkmen Cameleers with their famous Aravan Breed

This fermented product of camel milk is very beneficial for gut and colon health; reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure and even it has anti diabetes effects. Also, like mentioned above, the nomadic community believe 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

ITUTI~The Traditional Milk Product of Ethiopia


I shall try in this series to write about the traditional milk products from the different parts of the world, especially from the traditional livestock breeds. As a first piece of information, I introduce you with the Ituti, a fermented camel product from Ethiopia.

ITUTI

It is a staple food, white color, and a very solid appearance that resembles that of traditional white cheese. It has attractive texture and flavor and has a reasonable shelf life at ambient temperature, making it one of the most desired food in the region. Ititu consumed as a side dish with traditional porridge or thin-baked cereal chips. It can also be consumed as food or drink alone. It is considered as one of the special foods and served to many respected guests as well as to weaning-age children and the elderly.

During the traditional production of ituti, fresh milk is collected into a well-smoked fermented vessel, called gorfa. Gorfa is woven from fibers of selected plants into a lidded container with a capacity up to three liters. A new gorfa is washed with hot water, air-dried; and just prior to use it is rinsed with fresh milk and then smoked for a few minutes with pieces of burning Acacia nilotica (or other plants) placed inside. The lid of gorfa is treated with leaves of Ocimum basilicum for cleaning and imparting desirable flavor to the product. A small volume of milk (up to 300 ml) is added to the gorfa and is allowed to ferment naturally.

Gorfa, the milk container in Africa.

When the milk coagulates, whey is removed daily by a wooden pipette after which an additional volume of fresh milk is added. The process of whey removal and addition of fresh milk is repeated several times until the product is concentrated enough and is ready for consumption. The curd and the lids are occasionally checked visually for mold and any mold growth on the surface of the curd is removed. The lid is also washed with hot water and smoke is applied to it before replacing it.

If the product is stored for a long time without refrigeration this can lead to over-souring and risk of spoilage, due to the high growth of surface mold. This can be controlled by adding an amount of roasted Trigonella foenumgraceum powder that is pre-mixed with fresh raw milk and/or melted ghee, prior to serving.

The milk is allowed to ferment for a long time of up to 14 days and can be stored from about two months to three months.” Very delicious and healthy products compensate for the food shortage in difficult times of the year.

The Ancient Trees Heritage of Borai ~ Arya Warsha


Trees are very important, that we all know. They are important because of many reasons, i.e. shade, fruits, feed for animals, fixing atmospheric carbon & producing oxygen, fixing land, purifying/halting winds, providing habitats to insects, birds, reptiles and other animals, scenic attraction, herbal value, building material and anymore.

Old Trees Heritage
Trees are very important from many angles. Fixing atmospheric carbon, producing oxygen, provision of shadow, producing fruits/fodders for human and animals both can be the few characteristics of the tree but there are many more apparent and hidden purposes of the trees.

Borai is an ancient traditional grazing and farming land, an offshoot of the historical Arya Warsha (the grazing lands). http://livestockscience.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/00_slutversion_after_revision_av_Raigi_camel_till_J_Livestock_science.pdf

The trees are a precious heritage and social treasures. We have great affection with the trees, especially the ancient trees. Our elders were used to sit under these trees making Jirga (Pashtun traditional jury) and other social event. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jirga

Trees are the fixed tents of the people to sit under and take refuge from scorching sunshine and rains. This tree is an old mulberry tree. Once, our village people were used to feed the mulberry leaves to the silkworms. I remember that golden time.

This is an ancient tree, Mulberry. The trees is almost 300 years. The elders people told that the tree is always harmed by thunder storms, which burns the trunk. The tree is hard and resilient.
An ancient mulberry tree (Thooth) in Borai. This tree is at the bank of Zingiwall Karez in Uryagi moza.

Go Home Message

Trees are the sign of life and health of mother earth. Unfortunately the human activities are adversely affecting the health of the mother earth. These trees are at the bank of the Karez (traditional water channel), which are drying because of the over exploitation/mining of the water and the overall climate change calamities. We need to save these trees. I met to the many owners/community of the trees to aware them about the importance and to think about the ways to conserve. They are earth loving people and they are ready to save each ancient tree.

Camel, Desert and the Umbrella Tree


The camels, umbrella tree (Acacia tortillas) go hand in hand in the desert. Umbrella tree is one of the most strong and resilient fauna of the extremely dry lands and desert, therefore is acting like a hope for camels during the hot weathers in the sandy deserts.

The camels are such a beautiful creatures, especially when you see them in the desert near an umbrella tree. Umbrella tree is one of the ice cream plant for the camels and goats.


Acacia tree in the desert, this picture is credited by a twitter friend.
I shot this picture in the amazing beautiful land, the Alain

I have already written certain articles with the title of ice cream plants species of camels. https://camel4all.blog/2017/12/17/the-ice-cream-species-of-plants-for-the-camel-and-goat/

Acacia tortillas is very important plants of the United Arab Emirates. It is found almost everywhere in the country. I have compiled one photostory of the this precious tree.http://camel4all.com/world-camel-day-22nd-june-2019-is-approaching/

One can see many beautiful pictures in the above link. All flora and fauna on the earth are important. They need to be documented, sustainably use and conserve for the next generations.

Camels’ Milk Miracle for Autistic Patients


Camel’s milk as a remedy for autism-afflicted Malwa

Jasmine Singh in Chandigarh

  • Camel’s milk as remedy for autism-afflicted Malwa

A workshop is underway at Baba Farid Centre for Special Children in Faridkot. Tribune file

Jasmine Singh in Chandigarh

Soil contamination can wreak havoc with human health. There is growing fear in many parts of the Malwa region in Punjab that the presence of heavy metals in the subsoil has led to autism, mental retardation and learning disabilities among children. A study conducted by Baba Farid Centre for Special Children (BFCSC) along with the National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC), Bikaner, shows that autism can be treated. Of the various treatments suggested, camel milk is also being recommended in treating autistic children.IMG_5536[1]

Children who were given camel milk have reported better sleep, increased motor-planning abilities and spatial awareness, more eye contact, better language, and less gastrointestinal problems. This has fed demand for camel milk, especially in the Malwa region. At present, the NRCC is providing camel milk at the BFCSC, Faridkot, for autistic children. For research works, it is supplying the milk at Faridkot, Bathinda, and Ambala. The price of camel milk depends on quantity and transport. Dr. Pritpal Singh, who is working for autistic children at the Faridkot center, hopes that camel milk will prove beneficial for such children. Many doctors claimed that autism is neither a mind nor a genetic disorder. It is a biochemical disorder involving the whole body. “Lower immunity with repeated bacterial and fungal infections, multiple allergies, autoimmunity, and leaky gut with diarrhea or constipation are universal. Camel milk, in these cases, works like a magic potion,” said Dr. Amar Singh Azad, chief consultant at Baba Farid Centre. The BFCSC has taken up a research project in collaboration with the NRCC. Dr. Amar Singh Azad, Baba Farid Centre, Dr. NV Patil, director and Dr. Raghvendar Singh, principal scientist, NRCC, are supervising the project.images

Under the project, autistic children of the Baba Farid center were given 500ml of camel milk along with other treatment. The raw camel milk was brought from the camel research farm in Bikaner in a cold chain and distributed to four BFCSC centers — Faridkot, Bathinda, Ambala, and Patiala. The results which are evaluated with the help Autism Evaluation Checklist (ATEC SCORE) have been positive. ATEC SCORE, a scientific tool, is used to measure improvements among the children consuming camel milk. This score has 77 items with 180 marks which are auto-analyzed by software, which is operated by Autism Research Institute. Nearly, 41 children of Baba Farid Centre were analyzed with this score and it was found out that on an average, there was an improvement of 26 points. In 27 children, the improvement was 25 points; in 11, it was 26 to 50 points while in three, the improvement was more than 50 points. There was no child who showed no improvement.Dr. Azad said, “The first phase of the research is over. In the next phase, we will take 30 children who are consuming camel milk but are not taking other treatment and another 30 children who are drinking camel milk with other treatment. This will help to establish the exact role of camel milk in managing autistic children.” 

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He said research in other countries had also revealed that camel milk was effective in tackling autism as a study in Saudi Arabia had proved that autism symptoms improved with camel milk.Dr. Raghvendar, head, ICAR-CSWRI, Avikanagar, says studies published in the International Journal of Human Development showed that the consumption of camel milk improves immunity among autistic children.

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A shift of Thought is the Need of Time

The world needs to reconsider its policies regarding the food production systems. We have to look at the broader view of the whole system. The sustainability, human health, earth/soil health, and costs (apparent and hidden) must be considered properly and wisely.

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