Traditional Cuisine - Milk Products

Orm (double cream), tosn (butter), shar tosn (melted butter), eezgya (cheese from sheep milk) and targ (fermented milk drink) are the most popular dairy products. Along with milk and milk vodka, these dairy products are collectively referred to as tsagan idyan (white products). Since 'white products' are considered sacred, they are widely used in various rituals as well.

For jomba (Kalmyk tea with milk), chigyan and targ (fermented milk drinks) see Beverages collection.

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Boba Kokueva, How to make bulmg
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-11-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Korneev, Gennadiy; Bembeev, Aleksandr; Sandzhiev, Artur
  • ItemOpen Access
    Tseren Badaev, about traditional diet
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2019-05-11) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Churyumov, Anton
    Tseren says that in his childhood the Kalmyks usually ate meat and dairy products, including aadmg and shuurming. From chigyan people distilled vodka. Since there were no refrigerators, people dried meat for storage. Meat was dried inside the yurt for two days. Dried meat is called ‘borts’ in Kalmyk.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Viktor Sandzhiev, about traditional dishes
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2019-06-16) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumov, Anton; Churyumova, Elvira; Koldaev, Tseren
    Viktor talks about dishes that his grandmother used to make, including Kalmyk tea with sheep ribs, shuurmg, bulmg (a dish made by mixing flour with sugar and butter) and tyuntg (dumplings filled with mutton fat).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Alena Lidzhieva, about milk
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-08-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumov, Anton; Dovurkaev, Karu
    After milking milk should be poured into a bucket and then covered with a lid, because it is forbidden to expose milk to the night sky (i.e. expose what is white to what is black). After dark it is also forbidden to give milk away. The same applies to any food: after sunset it is forbidden to take food out of the house.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Zurgan Lidzhieva, Dairy Products
    (2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Andrei; Kovaeva, Bair; Churyumov, Anton
    Zurgan says that in the past people fermented milk and used it to make vodka. Butter was made from a mix of cow’s, goat’s, sheep’s, horse’s and camel’s milk. People also ate khurskh, a kind of dried cheese. People chewed khurskh and could then go without food for a long time.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Zurgan Lidzhieva, Bulmg
    (2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Andrei; Kovaeva, Bair; Churyumov, Anton
    Recipe: Melt butter in a pan. Add milk, flour and salt. Mix continuously.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Zurgada Antonova, Eezge
    (2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Elvira; Churyumova, Elvira
    Zurgada talks about how to make eezge. Sheep’s milk is mixed with cow’s milk and then boiled in a pot. The produced cheese is put into a lamb’s paunch.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Tatyana Dordzhieva, How to Make Bulmg
    (2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Anton; Dovurkaev, Karu; Ubushieva, Bamba; Gedeeva, Darina
    Tatyana gives a recipe for bulmg. Melt butter in a pan, add flour and milk. Mix continuously while the mass is boiling.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Tatyana Boskhomdzhieva, Bulmg
    (2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Boskhomdzhiev, Mergen
    In this video Tatyana makes bulmg. Tatyana says she learnt the recipe from her mother-in-law. She puts butter in a hot pan and adds flour bit by bit while mixing. When the flour turns yellow, this means bulmg is ready. To make it softer, Tatyana adds milk. It is a nutritious and delicious dish. When a bride returns to her natal home after wedding, she is treated to bulmg by her parents.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Purvya Volod'kina, Milk Products and Vodka
    (2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Andzhur; Seleeva, Tsagan; Okonov, Andzhur
    Purvya talks about how Kalmyks made cheese and milk vodka. Her story: In the past, we made special bags, poured bozo (what is left from distilling milk vodka) into them and hung them outside to dry. The water dripped through these bags and what was left inside quickly dried in the sun. The dried stuff was then cut into squares called khurskh. When khurskh was dried further, it became cheese called shuurmg. In winter people put these shuurmg into boiling milk to make a sour drink. About milk vodka. We poured 3 buckets of chigyan (sour milk) into a big pot and covered it with a wooden lid. Then smeared it around with mud to make the pot air-tight. There were 2 holes on the lid – one was for a pipe through which vapor travelled to another pot called idsh. When the vodka was ready people cooked meat, made tea and ate together.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Nogan Belveeva, Khal'msh
    (2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Elvira; Churyumova, Elvira; Boskhomdzhiev, Mergen
    Khal’msh is made from flour. First, melt butter in the pot. Add flour and mix well until it becomes thick. When a thin layer of butter appears on top, this means the dish is ready. Cut into pieces and eat with tea. People made this dish during Zul when they did not eat meat.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Maria Erdnieva, About Dairy Products
    (2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Baasanjav; Gedeeva, Darina; Babaev, Andrei
    Maria recalls how her mother made milk vodka, cheese and kept butter inside a sheep’s paunch. Her story: When we lived in our homeland, I remember how my mother fermented milk and made bozo (what is left in the pot after distilling milk vodka). She distilled milk vodka in a big pot that had a pipe going to another pot. Alcohol vapor travelled through that pipe from one pot to the other. The big pot was covered with a wooden lid and people tried vodka from the other pot with the help of a special stick made from horse’s tail. Bozo, which was a by-product, was poured through a net and what was left on the net was collected and dried in the sun to make cheese. In my childhood, my mother used to milk cows. I used to sit next to her and drink the milk. I could run all day long, because the milk was very nutritious. We used to put butter inside a sheep’s paunch which was dried and salted beforehand.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Galina Suikieva, How to Make Bulmg
    (2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Anton; Kovaeva, Bair; Churyumov, Anton
    Bulmg is made from butter and flour. First melt butter in the pan and then add flour. It is possible to add berries or onion.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Irina Lidzhieva, Milk Products in Rituals
    (2015-05-11) Churyumova, Elvira; Boskhomdzhiev, Mergen; Terbish, Baasanjav
    ‘Tsagan idyan’ or milk products include the following: yoghurt, milk, dried yoghurt and others. Irina says milk products are used in many rituals. At weddings when the groom and his delegation come to the bride’s house, the first who enters the house is a boy with a bottle of milk or yoghurt in his hand. The head of the bottle has to be bound with a cloth. All in the house try the milk to symbolize a successful trip (the groom takes the bride with him from her house) for the newlywed. During the first bath of a baby, three drops of milk should be mixed with the water in the bath basin while the person who is preparing it should utter well wishes to the spiritual master of water so that the child grows healthy and happy. During funerals, the floor in the house of the deceased should be washed with water mixed with milk in order to cleanse the dwelling. Afterwards, rice is thrown both inside and outside the house. After the funeral, all participants wash their hands outside the house with water mixed with milk. Then a fire is set up and incenses, butter, flour and fat are thrown inside. People then cleanse themselves by holding hands over the fire.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Antonina Boskhandjieva, Bulmg
    (2015-05-11) Okonov, Andzhur; Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav
    In this video Antonina offers a modern recipe for making sweet bulmg. In contrast, Antonina’s mother usually made non-sweet bulmg from butter. Antonina says that in the past people made bulmg either on holidays or when they produced butter. Usually bulmg was made in summer when there was plenty of milk.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Alena Lidzhieva, About Milk
    (2017-08-01) Dovurkaev, Karu; Chryumov, Anton; Terbish, Baasanjav
    After milking milk should be poured into a bucket and then covered with a lid, because it is forbidden to expose milk to the night sky (i.e. expose what is white to what is black). After dark it is also forbidden to give milk away. The same applies to any food: after sunset it is forbidden to take food out of the house.