(East European buckwheat groats)
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
- Buckwheat groats -- 1 cup
- Egg, beaten -- 1
- Boiling stock or water -- 2 cups
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- 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 or 4 minutes.
- Stir in the boiling stock or water, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 7 or 8 minutes. Remove from heat, let rest for a few minutes and then serve.
- 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.
- Saute 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.