International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Kasha

Kasza (Polish buckwheat groats)

(East European buckwheat groats)

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Although kasha is a word used to describe a wide variety of grain porridges in Russia, it has come to be most closely linked to this particular buckwheat (gretchka) dish. Kasha is a nutritious and excellent substitute for rice, especially when paired with beef or lamb.

3 to 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Buckwheat groats -- 1 cup
  • Egg, beaten -- 1
  • Boiling stock or water -- 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste

Method

  1. Mix the groats and egg together in a bowl to coat the groats. Heat a skillet over medium-high flame, add the groats and toast them, stirring until they have dried out and and broken up into separate grains, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Stir in the boiling stock or water, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat, let rest for 2-3 minutes and serve.

Kasha Variations

  • Kasha Varnishkes (Jewish kasha with bow-tie noodles): Mix kasha with an equal amount of cooked bow-tie pasta and serve hot. Stir in a little chicken fat if you like. Serve with beef brisket and gravy.
  • A tablespoon or two of butter can be added along with the boiling stock or water.
  • Many recipes eliminate the egg and the toasting step.
  • Instead of simmering on the stovetop, kasha is sometimes baked in a covered ovenproof dish for about 45 minutes in a medium (350ºF) oven.
  • Sauté some onions or mushrooms in butter or oil, then add the stock or water. Add the boiling liquid to the groats. Wild mushrooms are especially tasty.
  • Simmer with milk and eliminate the salt to make a nourishing breakfast dish.
  • Kasha is sometimes used as a filling for knishes.

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