Библиотека нематериального культурного наследия Республики Башкортостан
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Korot is the most common dairy product in the Turkic world. The name comes from the Turkic adjective «kyry», or «koro», which means «dry». This product saved the nomads from thirst and quenched the feeling of hunger in their long journeys.

Step-by-step recipe for korot

Bashkir korot stands out for its specific taste and special useful properties. This is due to the Ural multigrass and the diet of cows. It should be noted that among 1700 species of plants growing on the territory of Bashkortostan about 800 species are known as medicinal plants.

Skimmed or fresh milk is filtered, boiled, and then must be cooled up to 30–35 degrees in an enamel pan.

The sourdough is put in the milk, the mass is stirred thoroughly, and the pan is wrapped up and left for overnight.
The resulting katyk is left to ferment for several days.
From time to time, as it sours, the accumulated whey is removed from the surface.

The aged milk semiproduct (erket) is then poured into a large cauldron, and, stirring, boiled over low heat.
In this way part of the liquid is evaporated, at the end of cooking the semiproduct is cooled.

The resulting mass is placed in a canvas bag, and the liquid is left to drain from it for 1–3 days.
Salt is added to the squeezed sediment to taste, balls or ovals are rolled from the korot, constantly wetting hands in water.
Korot is spread out to dry.

Secrets of cooking
Bashkir korot
Korot is prepared in different ways in different districts of Bashkortostan. Every housewife has her own recipe and her own secrets. These issues were the subject of the program «Ornament» of the BST TV channel (2012, 2015).

Videos from the personal archive of Sarvar Surina
Tanzilya Kuvatova,
a villager from Zianchurinsky district
«I have loved korot since my childhood. I remember how my grandmother did it. She always said that the most delicious and healthy korot is obtained by those people who put a sprig or cherry leaves in the katyk. Children love korot with dill. You can roll balls, dry or freeze them».
Minigul Amantaeva,
a villager from Baimaksky district
«I make several types of korot. When you add currant, bird cherry
or berries to this product, you get a very tasty and healthy dessert for tea. Children love this dish a lot. The korot for bouillon is made by adding green onions, dill, parsley. I often do korot with vanilla».

Gulkay Mulyukova,
а villager of Sterlibashevsky district
«Korot is eaten every day in our family. Someone puts mayonnaise or sauce in the soup, and we add korot. For winter we make korot with dill and green onions and freeze it. My grandmother used to smoke it to give it a special taste. This product is stored for a long time without mold. We ate this korot like candies».

Thus, korot is made in each district differently; each housewife has her own secret of cooking this dish.
Types of korot
There are a lot of varieties of korot in Bashkortostan. This product can be liquid, thick, dry, fresh, sour and spicy.
An article that the villagers from Khaybullinsky district presented 7 types of korot: with dill, wild cherry, currant, bird cherry, etc. Was published in 2018 on the website «Club of travelers».

Useful properties of korot
The Bashkirs used a dry unsalted korot as a pacifier for children, and the diet of the nursing mother necessarily included bouillon with korot.
The useful properties of Bashkir korot were described in the books of V. Z. Gumarov «Bashkir folk medicine» and E. V. Migranova «The Bashkirs. Traditional food system». This product is rich in biologically active substances, natural digestive enzymes, trace minerals, vitamins A, C, D, E and elements of the B vitamins. Inclusion of this product in the diet slows down the aging process of cells, enriching the blood with oxygen and preventing the formation of blood clots.
The phosphorus and calcium contained in korot have a positive effect on the formation of the human bone system. Korot is effective for exhaustion, anemia, mental and physical fatigue. The absorbent properties of this product make it possible to use it effectively for various light poisoning, including alcohol intoxication. In folk medicine korot is used for colds, nausea, loss of appetite and indigestion.
Ethnographic works about korot
You can find many articles about korot in magazines and monographs.
French traveler P. Labbe (1867–1943), who traveled most of Russia, visited Bashkiria in 1898.
In his writings the author describes in detail the life of the Bashkirs, observations on family rituals, including he writes about korot:

«Korot is a smoked cheese. For its preparation a mixture of cow's and goat's milk is boiled, then it is left to settle and ferment; after skimming it is boiled again and poured into a linden bucket called chuman, pumping the whey. The remaining mass is rolled into a ball and hung over the hearth for five days».

In the scientific work of Mukhametsalim Umetbaev «Yadkar» (XIX century) the recipe for cooking Bashkir korot is described in detail and step by step. In our days E. V. Migranova in her work «The Bashkirs. Traditional food system» shows the specific aspects of korot preparation in different districts of Bashkortostan and they are studied in detail.
About korot in the world and Bashkir literature

A lot of works have been written about korot in different languages of the world. But the most famous poem is «Kurt – the precious stone» by Raisa Golubeva. The poem is based on the memoirs of Gertrude Platais.

She told that one winter morning female prisoners of the Akmola camp carried armfuls of reeds from the lake Zhalanash. After a while old people and children appeared on the shore of the lake, who, at the command of their elders, began to throw stones at the women prisoners. The guards began to laugh loudly at the prisoners. When a woman tripped over these «stones» and fell next to them, she felt the smell of milk and cheese emanating from them. She took a piece and put it in her mouth – it seemed very tasty.

She collected these «stones» and brought them to the barrack. There were also Kazakh prisoners. They said it was kurt, a sun-dried salted curd.

In Bashkir literature there are many poems about korot for children. The housewives themselves, when cooking korot, sing songs, compose poems about the cooking process. To preserve the style of the authors the poems are given in the Bashkir language.

Әсәй көн дә һөт ойотоп,
Ағас көбөгә ҡойҙо.
Һауыт тулғас та, эркетте
Бер көн ҡайнатып ҡуйҙы.

Киндер тоҡҡа һалды ла ул,
Һыуын һарҡыта элде.
Хуш еҫтәре өйгә тулған,
Йоторлоҡ хатта телде.

Өс көн үткәс, әсәй уны
Ҡамыр кеүек тасҡаны.
Самалап ҡына тоҙ һалды,
Өҫтәмәне башҡаны.

Өҫтәл тулы ҙур йомғаҡтар,
Табынға ҡуйһаң, әҙер.
Байтағын ул ыҫланы,
Ыҫлайҙар һирәк хәҙер.

Ҡулға алған һайын китә
Ауыҙ һыуҙары ҡороп.
Әй, татлы ла, хуш еҫле лә
Әсәй эшләгән ҡорот.

Сәрүәр Ғәләүетдинов

Оҙон юлда тәмләп алһаң,
Көс-ҡеүәт бирә ҡорот.
Һыу кәрәкмәй ул булғанда,
Китһә лә ауыҙ ҡороп.

Нияз Сәлимов
Ҡорот эшләү
(хужабикә һамағы)

Тағы ҡорот ҡайнатам,
Бер туҡтауһыҙ болғатам.
Төйөрҙәре булмаһын,
Яңылыш эреп ҡуймаһын!

Моҡсаға уны аҫам,
Аҙаҡтан тоҙлап баҫам.
Муйыллы ҡорот йәмле,
Ҡоротло һурпа тәмле!

Аппетитты ул аса,
Күңел болғанһа баҫа.
Ҡорот – икенсе фестал,
Урыҫ әйтер: где достал?

Файҙалы ризыҡ ҡорот,
Шуны иҫеңдә ныҡ тот!
Ашаһаң ни ғәләмәт,
Булырһың һин сәләмәт!

Лилиә Хәсәнова
In 2019 Bashkir pop singer Rena Rnt created the song «Korot» to promote korot among the population.

Video from the official YouTube channel of Rena Rnt
Author (compiler): A. V. Abdulmenova, 2020