On this special program you will have an opportunity to learn traditional ways of making homemade diary product (dried curds, ferment mare’s milk, cheeses, creams, and even yogurt based vodkas) with nomadic women. Generally Mongols prefer to eat dairy products during the summer months and fatty meats in cold seasons. During your stay, you will visit nomadic families and have an opportunity to ride camels, horses and ox carts with local nomadic guides.
Day One – Learn how to making hailmag (L, D – Overnight in Ger): From UB to Byamtogtoh’s nomadic family is around a 280 km journey to which you will arrive around 1400 and be greeted with a hot lunch. After lunch, you will learn how to make hailmag with his wife Dulamsuren. To make hailmag: 1) white butter is melted on the fireplace in a pot 2) flour is added and stirred well 3) for 10 minutes later it’s allowed to simmer 4) yellow butter or shar tos is put in a special pot 5) sugar is added for taste 6) then cooled and ready to serve; to make hailmag it takes 30-60 minute. In the evening, you will have dinner with family.
Day Two – Learn how to make byaslag “cheese” and eezgii “hardened milk” (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast, you will start learning: 1) heat milk in a pot and then add sour butter or yogurt so that the milk turns into thick curd-type liquid state. The milk’s sour butter turns into a thick curd that is boiled until it evaporates all the water till that it becomes thick chunks of curds which are roasted. After cooling it little bit, one puts on the plank – it is often dried in sunlight on top of the Ger. Generally, to make a hardened milk it takes about 1-2 hours – while you wait, you will go to Bum-Ayaush`s home with Byambatogtoh by horse or camel for hot lunch and drinks. After lunch, you will learn how to make nomadic cheeses – to make cheese, milk is heated on the fireplace softly till it boils over. Then sour milk or yoghurt is added to turn it into thick curds – depending on the quantity of milk, sour milk or yoghurt it will turn into curds. After it is turned into curds, the sour milk is separated to which it’s poured into a cotton bag and put outside between two planks for 10-12 hours (compression); this evening, you will have dinner with the family.
Day Three – Learn how to make white butter and yoghurt (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast, you will learn how to make white butter. First, boil milk and stir til a thick layer of skin is formed on top; the process to make white butter takes about one hour. After lunch, you will visit to Mr Otgonbayar by horse and you will learn how to make yoghurt with his wife. To make yoghurt, milk that boiled must be cooled – depending on the milk, yoghurt that was stored is often added and stirred into the mix. Then it’s heated on the fireplace and poured into pot – 10 to 12 hours later the yoghurt will become ready to serve; in the evening, you will have a dinner with the family.
Day Four – Learn how to make dried curds and stirring airag- fermented mare`s milk (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast you will learn how to make dried curds. To make dried curds it requires about 10 liters of yogurt which is boiled for 10-20 minute and then poured into another pot and cooled for 3-4 hours. Later it is poured into proper bag and left for 10-12 hours to cure. After that, it is sliced by thread thinly and put on the plank on top of the Ger; keep in mind that some families like to add sugar and fruit. After lunch, you will go to Idertsogt’s family by horse – at his home you will learn how to make fermented mare`s milk or “Airag”. Airag is often stirred in evening, 5-8 liters of Airag is always left in a pot so that the Airag has an chance to ferment; however with the remaining Airag, mare`s milk is added and stirred 3000-5000 times. Side note: Local people milk mares every 2 hours from 0800. After stirring the Airag, one must close the lid to ferment the mare`s milk; the process will take around 24 hours. In the evening, you will have dinner with the family.
Day Five – Learn how to make distilled spirits (B, L): After breakfast, you will learn how to distill and produce nomadic vodka from yogurt. First to make distilled spirits fermented yogurt is put into a 16-18 liter pot that is placed onto the fireplace. Before making a fire, you will prepare the utensils that are used for the distilling after-which fill the pot with water and continue making the fire. As soon as the water in the pot is heated, change the water with cold water twice. It’s by this process one is able to distill the spirits – typically 1-5 liters of vodka is produced. It will take about 2-4 hours, at his home, to which you will be served with farewell lunch; afterwards our car will pick you up and take you to UB.