Ksenia Kardonova, Kalmyk Cuisine
Ksenia Kardonova talks about Kalmyk cuisine. When we lived in our homeland (before exile in 1943) my father worked as a shepherd. We always had good food. We ate meat, dairy products, we made milk vodka. After the distillation of milk vodka milk thicket remains, it is called ‘aadmg’. From ‘aadmg’ we made dried cheese, which is called ‘shuurmg’. Shuurmg is made the following way: milk thicket, left from distilling milk vodka, is compressed by hand and left to dry. Another dish made from aadmg is called ‘khyursn’, it is made as follows: sugar or salt is added to aadmg, to taste, then rolled into a flat cake, cut and dried. Khyursn can be sweet or salted. Shuurmg is consumed mixed with milk or cream. Khyursn can be eaten as a dessert or sweet. Another milk dish is ‘khoormg’. It is made in a special way from ‘chigyan’ (fermented milk) mixed with fresh milk. As there was no refrigerator meat was cut into thin strips and dried in the sun. It turned into special jerky meat called ‘bortslsn makhn’. By mixing ‘shuurmg’ with ‘bortslsn makhn’ and boiling these two ingredients in water, you get another dish called ‘budan’. Another dish called ‘bulmg’ is delicious. It is cooked as follows: heat the melted butter (‘shar tosn’) in a pan, remove the liquid that comes from the melted butter, in the remaining thick butter add flour, milk, raisins, pieces of apples and prunes and mix everything together until cooked to taste. This is what Kalmyks ate in the past. When the war began, food became worse, but still it wasn’t too bad, we had boiled potatoes, rice.