One of the best ways to get to know a destination is through their cuisine. And winter is the perfect time to explore their quintessential foods, as many of them are hearty. Mongolia’s gastronomy is rooted in ingredients yielded by the animals herded by nomadic families upon the vast steppe. These include cattle, sheep, goats, horses, camels, and some game meat. From these animals, they draw milk and create a range of delicious dairy products.
Among our favorite travel blogs to follow is “Nargie’s Mongolian Cuisine,” the flagship program of the YouTube Channel ARTGER. Nargie, whose full name is Naranbaatar Tsambakhorloo, travels to a region of Mongolia, meets someone who is known for being a good cook – often a shepherd or an elderly matriarch – then watches them prepare a local speciality, shares a table with the family and eats with relish.
One of his fantastic episodes focuses on creating Khailmag, a carmelized clotted cream, which results in a by-product of Ghee, yellow butter. Nargie travels to meet and cook with Narantsetseg, a master of creating dairy products, and she expertly demonstrates how to traditionally cook these “treasures of food culture” and a staple of the traditional Mongolian kitchen.
If you should desire to cook your own Khailmag at home, we have provided our own recipe for you.
Khailmag is a valuable dessert and food for Mongols, especially for kids. Everyone has memories of eating khailmag made by their mothers or grandmothers when they were a kid. It is also served at traditional celebration tables as well, such as lunar new year, wedding ceremony and kids hair cutting ceremony etc.
Khailmag is made differently in different areas of Mongolia.
We will introduce you the most easiest way to make the khailmag.
Traditionally the main ingredient of Khailmag is Urum /Mongolian clotted cream/ from any kind of milk. It’s more like clotted cream, but we use only milk instead of creams.
Urum is difficult to find outside of Mongolia, so crème fraîche can be used instead.
- Crème Fraîche – 250ml (choose the highest fat cream as possible around 40%)
- All-purpose flour – ¼ cup
- Sugar – ⅛ cup
- Raisins – ¼ cup
- Salt – 1 pinch
Reminder before you start: Please don’t stop stirring, even if you are adding all dry ingredients.
- Heat up your stove in the middle heat, add cream to the pot, stir it until it boils.
- When it boils, turn your heat low. Stir it constantly.
- While stirring the cream add flour little by little
- Continue stirring until yellow oil/ghee/ is on the surface
- Add a pinch of salt and sugar.
- As soon as the ghee is released enough, separate the oil into another bowl
- When khailmag is thickened like fruit jam, mix all the raisins
Now it’s ready to serve!