Fermented Milk Products from All Over the World. Chal/Shubat.
Chal and Shubat is the same thing, which is a fermented drink made out of milk, camel milk to be more precise. It looks like yogurt, due to its white color, but it is actually very liquid, suitable for drinking, providing a sparkling sensation and sour flavor. Chal is very popular in Central Asia, where it is mostly consumed during summer, considered very refreshing when the temperatures are rather high. Unfortunately, people that live outside Central Asia cannot taste Chal unless they travel to where it is made, as this product requires special conditions to be made and it is quite perishable, which makes its export impossible.
As mentioned before, Chal or Shubat, as it is called in Kazakhstan, is made out of camel milk that is left to get sour first. This is achieved by placing sweet camel milk inside a bag made out of skin or in a ceramic pot and adding milk that was previously soured to it. It is worth noting that fresh camel milk will stay fresh for up to 72 hours if the temperatures are below 10 °C or 50 °F. Even at 30 °C or 86 °F, camel milk takes up to 8 hours to get sour, in comparison with cow milk that needs only 3 hours. Once the souring process of the camel milk has started, fresh milk is added daily to the soured milk, for 3 to 4 days in a row. Thus, the chal that reached maturity will contain between 1/3 and 1/5 milk that was soured previously to the process.
Chal is a fermented product that contains Lactobacillus, streptococci, and yeast. Thus, Chal may be obtained by inoculating in fresh milk cultures of Lactobacillus casei, Streptococcus thermophilus, and yeasts that ferment in environments with lactose. The milk containing the bacteria and yeast must be kept at 25 °C or 77 °F for 8 hours and then drop the temperature at 20 °C or 68 °F for the next 16 hours. While this process will not affect the flavor of the product, pasteurizing the Chal at 85 °C or 185 °F even for only 5 minutes will significantly change its flavor.