Karabakh cuisine - 4

Baku, April 2, AZERTAC

Zhingal derives from the word khingal or khangal – a Turkic dish made of thinly rolled dough. In the Karabakh zone, dairy cuisine is the same as in other regions of Azerbaijan. Cow, sheep and goat milk is used. Buffalo and goat milk is considered medicinal. The first milk, which is received after the birth of a calf, is called "agiz". In the cooked form, it is a tasty dish called katamaz.

As a ritual meal, it is divided between neighbors (usually 7 families). Sometimes artificial katamaz is cooked, for which one egg yolk is added to 1 liter of milk and cooked. If you put a raw beaten egg wholly and carefully, so it does not curdle, and boil it, adding honey, you will get a drink called "bulama" (beestlings). Milk produced during the first 2-5 days is also called "bulama". In addition, sulug was made from "agiz" and "bulama" milk. To this end, the membrane of the placenta is thoroughly washed, filled with milk, then buried in warm ashes and kindled from above, or is placed in a hot tandir. After 1.5-2 hours, it is Karabakh cuisine taken out. A tasty cheese-like mass comes out. Sometimes "sulug" is placed in a large cauldron and boiled. Sulug is also made from normal milk, and it turns out very tasty like baked milk.

Katamaz and bulama in a cauldron with the addition of flour and butter is used to make "gaymag chorak" or "shan-shan" on a saj. The latter, in contrast to the "gaymag chorak", has many "holes" - shana. Milk was also used as a standalone drink, especially with fresh bread, as the basis for cold (dogramaj - "okroshka" (cold soup with chopped vegetables and meat)) and hot soups, and for making pastry and bakery products. Sheep milk was mainly used for making rennet cheese and was valued very highly. For fermentation, they used the abomasum of newborn lambs or grass "dalama otu" (rennet grass). But goat cheese was considered the most expensive, as well as medicinal cheese. Cheese from cow milk is considered to be of lower quality than sheep cheese. Cow and buffalo milk was used mainly for cooking the fermented milk product "gatig" (yogurt). Buffalo gatig was especially valued: it is denser, fatter and tastier. Gaymag (the fat part of the gatig - thick cream) made from buffalo gatig is denser and more delicious than that cow gatig. Gaymag is made from milk. To do this, it is poured with a thin layer in a broad and shallow dish (sini (tray), tapsi). A day later, a film (thick cream) appears on the surface – this is milk gaymag. If milk is not boiled and is poured into the same dish immediately after milking, you get "chiya", i.e. "raw gaymag". "Sud gaymag" (milk gaymag) was obtained from boiled milk in the same kind of dish. "Gati gaymag" (thick cream) was obtained from evaporated milk. In Karabakh, such a product was also called "sudbashi". Sometimes milk was boiled on low heat in order to make it, periodically adding raw milk. Gatig is used as a separate dish, but they also prepare various dishes (dovga, dogramaj, ovdug, shirin gatig) and atlama (a soft drink made of water and sour clotted milk) from it. Kasmik (cottage cheese) is made from ayran (liquid obtained by beating butter from gatig) sometimes from gatig by boiling. It is salted and dried a little bit to make shor - crumbly cheese. For storage and ripening, the shor is placed in a motal - sheep wineskin. They also make motal pendir – cheese in a motal. The cheese and cottage cheese, which ripen in a motal, have a special taste and are valued higher.

The liquid remaining after cottage cheese is called zardab (whey) and after cheese – dalama (fresh cheese). Both are used for making drinks and for baking bread. This bread lasts longer and tastes better than the one made in water. If dalama is boiled, it becomes "lor". The dish "lor" is prepared by mixing fresh cottage cheese with boiled milk and salt. When milk is added to gatig, a dish called "karamaz" comes out. Straining gatig or ayran through a cloth, they get a concentrated product called suzma (condensed sour milk), which is used as a separate dish and for cooking some foods. From suzma with salt, they get "gurut" - dried cheese balls or cones. Gurut can be stored for several years and is used as a base for sauces and khangal (made from thin slices of dough). If in Lankaran they mix fresh snow with bakmaz (boiled down juice of grapes, mulberry, etc.), families and shepherds of Karabakh, who climb mountains with flocks in summer, mix a black sheep's fresh milk with mountain snow and call this dish "gar karamazi" (snow karamaz). Sometimes dishes with gar karamaz are buried in the snow or put on ice. The main difference from ice cream is that sugar is not added to the mixture. Interestingly, the "gar karamaz" is prepared only from the milk of a black sheep.

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