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Shubat vs Kumis.jpg
Bowls of shubat (left), beverage of fermented camel milk, and kumis (right), beverage made from fermented mare's milk
Alternative namesShubat
Place of originTurkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan
Main ingredientsCamel milk

Chal, or shubat (Kazakh: шұбат, pronounced [ɕʊˈbɑt]), is a Turkic (especially Turkmen, Uzbek and Kazakh) beverage of fermented camel milk, sparkling white with a sour flavor, popular in Central Asia — particularly in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.[1] In Kazakhstan the drink is known as shubat, and is a staple summer food.[2] Due to preparation requirements and perishable nature, chal has proved difficult to export.[3] Agaran (fermented cream) is collected from the surface of chal.[4]


Fermented chal is reputed to possess virucidal and virus inhibiting properties[citation needed] not found in fresh camel or cow milk, both in its liquid and lyophilized form — a characteristic which is (reputedly) unaffected by shelf life.

Chal is typically prepared by first souring camel milk in a skin bag or ceramic jar by adding previously soured milk. For 3–4 days, fresh milk is mixed in; the matured chal will consist of one third to one fifth previously soured milk.[5]

Camel milk will not sour for up to 72 hours at temperatures below 10 °C (50 °F). At 30 °C (86 °F) the milk sours in approximately 8 hours (compared to cow's milk, which sours within 3 hours).

A comparison of the composition of camel milk and camel chal:[6]

Camel milk Chal
acidity 18°D 28°D
fat 4.3% 4.3%
lactose 2.75% 1.32%
non-fat solids 8.2% 6.6%
ash 0.86% 0.75%
ethyl alcohol 1.1%
ascorbic acid 5.6 mg% 4.8 mg%

Dornic acidic degrees are used to describe acidity in milk products, with 1 Dornic degree (1°D) is equal to 0.1g of lactic acid per liter.[7] The chal contained Lactobacilli lactic; streptococci and yeast.[8]

Chal may be cultured with lactobacillus casei, streptococcus thermophilus and lactose-fermenting yeasts incubating in inoculated milk for 8 hours at 25 °C (77 °F), and then subsequently for 16 hours at 20 °C (68 °F). Holder pasteurization does not affect the quality of the milk, but pasteurization at higher temperatures ( 85 °C/185 °F) for 5 minutes negatively impacts flavour. Chal made from pure cultures of lactobacillus casei, streptococcus thermophilus and species of torula has markedly less not-fat solids and lactose than the milk from which it is made.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anatoly Michailovich Khazanov (15 May 1994). Nomads and the outside world (2nd ed.). Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-299-14284-1.
  2. ^ Aliya Meldebekova; Gaukhar Konuspayeva; Emilie Diacono; Bernard Faye (2008). "Heavy Metals and Trace Elements Content in Camel Milk and Shubat from Kazakhstan". In Yuriy Sinyavskiy; Bernard Faye (eds.). Impact of Pollution on Animal Products (NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security). Berlin: Springer. pp. 117–123. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-8359-4. ISBN 978-1-4020-8357-0.
  3. ^ "Great Culinary Dictionary. Chal in Russian, retrieved April 11, 2007". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2007.
  4. ^ I.Barkhanov. Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper, in Russian, August 9, 2001 Archived November 10, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Prof Zafar Iqbal Chaudhary & Dr Shahan Azeem, Is camel milk good for human health? DAWN Sci-tech world, October 9, 2004 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Grigoryants, N.N. (1954). "Composition of camel milk and chal". Vop. Pit. (in Russian). 13: 41–5.
  7. ^[bare URL PDF]
  8. ^ Kieselev, N. (1956). "Bacteriological examination of chal". Mol. Prom. (in Russian). 17: 31–4.
  9. ^ Kuliev, K. (1959). "The utilisation of camels' milk". Mol. Promyslenn. 20 (28).
    cited in R. Yagil (1982). Camels and Camel milk. FAO animal production and health paper. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). ISBN 92-5-101169-9.

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