Mongolians make a zoohii from sheep, goat and camel's milk. After pouring an unboiled milk to the stone, ceramic or wooden pot and leaving it about 6-8 hours at 20-30 degrees in the light room. Soon milk become coagulated turning to the yellowish colored liquid which would have layers on the top. This is called ZOOKHII. This term is differently used in different place. Since Mongolia is the vast country many different ethnic groups have slightly different ways of processing their milk products. In some places, Zookhii is called as a OROM and dried orom. Duration of milk coagulation directly depend on the surrounding environment, in other words, in some cases it will take several days. Right after the milk is spoiled or coagulated, Zokkhii has to be collected. There is another thin layer of zookhii will be left, which is called liquid zookhii. About 1200-1800 gramms of zookhii can be collected from 6 liters of milk.
There are different ways of eating and cooking Zookhii in the Mongolian cuisine. For example, adding some sugar to Zookhii and mixing it with fried rice would be very delicious. Also mixture of blue tea and zookhii makes very special taste and smell. The ancient culinary book of Yuan Dynasty states that Zookhii has cooling quality and potential to improve heart and lung activity, reduce thirst, smoothe couphing and treat lung shrinkage.
Milk curd back
Milk curd is made from sour milk. As said avobe, after removing Zookhii spoiled milk wii be placed on the open stove that helps to separate a thick part and yellowish liquid. Some time later, when milk's thick part become more and more thicker yellowish liquid will be removed. At that moment, have to make more fire because it helps to thicken the milk. After that, thick part should be transferred to the special fabric 5555555, pressed tightly with special heavy staff that helps to remove all the liquid out and leave it in the chilly area for drying. This is called Milk Curd. To make it more tasty, sugar and other sweet can be added. The milk curd is considered as the most rich milk product, for example 70 grams of curd milk is equal to the 400 grams of flour. Nowadays, people are mixing the thick part with Zookhii and makes very delicious and very rich BAZI curd, that can be in different shapes.
White cream. back
Mongolians make white cream in 3 different ways. The first one is using Zookhii. Collected zookhii should be mixed carefully, that makes a milk fat and protein will be separated. This is called White cream. In the eastern part of Mongolia , herdsmen usually use this kind of method to make White cream. The other method is that the milk on the open fire should be mixed with the special large spoon. After cooling, milk will be covered by milk fat layer. When milk is boiled, have to add some special ingredients that makes a boiling milk turn to the sour tasting AIRAG. After that Airag should be transferred to the special large pot that has very small opening on the top, through which long mixture is installed. Initially, 3500 times at least should be mixed and then some cold water will be added. After that again 1000 times should be mixed that affects the milk fat is separated. This fat is called aslo white cream. White cream is the initial product that would be used further processing for making yellow cream .
Yellow cream back
After melting white cream and boiling it on the fire, the yellow colored very thick liquid will be separated, which is called yellow cream. Yellow cream can be made from cow, goat, sheep and camel milk. Usually there are 2 methods to make an yellow cream. As said in the previous part, these 2 methods would be similar to the yellow cream processing methods, like using through Airag and Zookhii. Mongolians consider that yellow cream has different qualities: cow's yellow cream has equal quality and golden yellow color, sheep yellow cream is considered as a hot quality that makes it's color to be brownish, goat yellow cream is cooling quality, that makes it's color to be bright yellow colored, camel yellow cream has also very cooling quality and it's color is whitish. According to the traditional Mongolian medicine, yellow cream is considered the best of the best milk product, that can be used for many medical purposes such as treatment of frozen and broken bones. Drinking a liquid yellow cream would be very helpful to have quick EDGEREH.
After removing an yellow cream, under which there would be remaining of the white-yellow colored liquidish, which is called tsotsgii. Tsotsgii is considered to have a treating qualities for example can be used in poisining, stomach upset and freezing.
A layer of protein and lecithin on the milk surface—'orom'—which is formed after 24 hours of keeping in static position followed by boiling of the milk and frequent mixing. Under this layer, fat globules are deposited forming another thick layer. Finally, these layers or milk membrane are picked up, having a bend through the diameter line. The cow milk 'orom' has 20 to 25 mm thickness and is used for daily consumption and for special meals, e.g. for guests. Daily portions of 'orom' are stored in a specially prepared container, and go through lactic and propionic acid fermentation; they are melted to obtain yellow butter. The remainder is called white butter, which consists of protein and fat. This kind of butter is used for food during winter in mixtures with sugar and other products.
Unboiled milk should be poured to the kettle on the fire stove and ladle up and pour back many times that creates foam on the surface. After cooling, there is top surface layer became hardened that is called Orom. There are different kinds of orom, such as boiled, dried, soft and un-boiled orom. Oorm also made from sheep, goat, camel milk.
Cheese can be made from unboiled and boiled milk. When unboiled milk is used, milk should be poured in the kettle on the fire stove and leave it until boiled and add some AIRAG with ratio 1/10 of the total milk. Then the milk would be spoiled immediately. After spoiling, milk should be filtered by placing the thick part into special fabric bag removing
To make cheese, the milk is heated up to boiling temperature and curdled by Airag. No microbiological process takes place during production of Mongolian cheese, which is a drained and pressed coagulum. It weighs about 3 to 4 kg and is square with obtuse angles. Cheese is a favourite food of Mongolians and is used in fresh form. To store the cheese, it is cut into thin pieces and dry them in the open sun.
EZGIY is a milk protein based product. It has a yellowish color and a dry lumpy texture with a milky flavor and a sweet taste. Whole fresh milk is heated in an open pan to boiling point. Boiling is continued until milk proteins coagulate. Once coagulated, milk is removed from the fire and whey is drained off. Then, the precipitate is steamed at a temperature of 90°C until it is completely dried. This dried product can be stored for up to 6 months.
. The Making of Airag, Fermented Horses Milk
During the foaling season the Mongolian herds-people milk the mares. This is done by leading the foal to his/her mother and allowing the foal to feed naturally for a while. The foal is then led to one side and the mare milked, usually by the woman.
The milk is then placed in a leather bag that hangs in the South West part of the Ger (round felt tent) where it is churned traditionally for 1000 times. This starts the fermentation process that creates a mild alcoholic “liquidy” yoghurt style drink. During the night, if you listen carefully you can hear the soft murmuring of the milk fermenting. When a guest arrives they are traditionally asked to churn the milk in the leather bag.
The Mongolians distil the airag to make a clear spirit called “shimii airag” with their homemade distillery. A bowl of airag is placed in the bottom of the metal barrel shape container, an empty bowl is fitted inside it towards the top of the barrel and a third bowl of cold water is placed at the top. All of this is placed on top of the stove, which is heated by dried animal dung. The airag is heated, evaporates and condenses on the bottom of the cold bowl and drops into the empty bowl.
To make yoghurt, the milk is boiled and milk membrane is picked up. Then the milk is heated to 45°C for preparation of initial source material and sealed and left to ferment. This product can either be consumed directly or it can be used for processing wet and dried curds. Because they can be stored for extended periods and easily transported, these products are a kind of protein concentrate and dried food, consumable all year round.
Mongolian traditional vodka /arkhi/ back
Mongolians make arkhi from milk through distillation, that is called home brewed arkhi. There are different names like animal's vodka, mongolian vodka and kumiss vodka. The process of making arkhi from kumiss is called kettle distill. Generally, there are two methods to distill vodka; distillation by cone-shaped wooden /bottomless / barrel and distillation by tube. When we distill vodka by cone – shaped wooden barrel, there are also use two methods such as firmly closed distillation and open distillation. A small ketlle is used In the process of firmly closed distillation method. In the process of open distillation we use the cone-shaped barrel, from which tube stick out under which pot should be placed, when vodka distill. Rest of methods are like others.
Now we will attempt to describe the process of making vodka, in which the milk must be changed into butter milk or yogurt. Next fire is made then large bowl is placed over the fire and the yogurt is poured into the bowl immediately, the bottomless barrel is put over the large bowl and smaller bowl is placed on top of the barrel. The smaller bowl is then filled with water. However the barrel is not empty. Inside the barrel is a bucket that hangs between the two bowls. This bucket is very important because it catches the newly made vodka. Now the prepare must wait; the yogurt is boiled. As the steam from the yogurt rises it hits the bowl of cold water. As this point the steam condenses back into liquid. The liquid slowly drips into the hanging bucket, as time passes the bowl of cold water will get warm, so the preparer must change the water but “be careful of the steam”. Once the process is completed, the arkhi is poured out and thrown into the fire. This is considered an offering to the god fire. If he arkhi makes a flash (blue flame) than the arkhi is good. Arkhii just made in the countryside of Mongolia .
The white colored liquid that remains after Mongolian vodka is distilled is called Aarts. Aarts can be poured to the special fabric bag, for purpose of filtering liquid out and storing longer period.
Aaruul is curded milk, dehydrated and thoroughly dried in the air and sun. We can add to aaruul sugar to have sweet taste. To make curd, the yoghurt or koumiss is heated lightly and filtered to collect the curd then wet curd is cut in various shapes and dried.
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