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Dec 29, 2008 10:42 AM

Turning groats into kasha?

Does anyone know how to roast/toast buckwheat groats?

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  1. there's nothing to it. just rinse & drain the groats, and toast in a dry pan/skillet (no oil) over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they get a nice amber/brown color (usually about 5 minutes).

    roasting them in the oven is also an option - 300 degrees F on a sheet pan for 35-40 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure even browning.

    just to clarify, you only need to do this with lighter greenish-white groats - the darker reddish-brown ones are already toasted.

    2 Replies
    1. The one addition I would suggest in terms of kasha is what my grandmother swore by-- beat an egg and add into the groats before you toast them. The egg dries on the groats and helps keep them fluffy, not mushy.

      I love kasha varnishkes too-- simply the best when soaked with Gran's brisket gravy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cheeseguysgirl

        Just what I was going to say. The egg coats each kernel of groat, keeps it separate. The whole process only takes a few minutes and results in a much better, lighter kasha.

        Uncoated, I think the kasha turns into something resembling breakfast cereal. Not bad, mind you, but very different than a kasha dinner side dish.

        1. re: chicgail

          Hey Cheeseguysgirl and chicgail, you're both right about that. I made it without the egg and it was fine -- very nutty and rich, but it all clumped together and got soft. So next time I'll go the egg route.

        2. I always go with the egg method, too. It doesn't go in the oven, however. It goes into a dry pot -- stirring nearly constantly while it "dries" out. Then add stock or water. Separately boil the "varnishes" -- bowtie pasta (though any shape will do in a pinch. Adding gravy from a pot roast and/or some butter or better yet -- chicken fat -- makes it sooooo tasty. Don't forget to add salt and plenty of black pepper. I make kasha and varnishkes about once a month. It reheats beautifully and is a very healthy dish. We even eat it as a main dish when I don't feel like having a heavy protein. Try it with mashed, sweetened winter squash or homemade cranberry sauce or homemade applesauce as a side. Mmmmmm.

          1 Reply
          1. you know, i've never bothered with the egg white coating because i usually only use buckwheat in breakfast-y or porridge-type dishes in which that clumpy texture is desirable. but when i go savory i'll be sure to try it - i'm glad i have several CHers vouching for the process before i bother!

            1. I toast the kasha in a hot dry pan first and then add the beaten egg. I brown lots of onions and mushrooms in butter before adding chicken and/or beef broth/stock to a separate pan. When the kasha is well toasted add the egg(s) and stir to break up the clumps. Then add the mushroom onion liquid. Cover and leave on low heat for 20 minutes. In a 3rd pan slowly brown some more mushrooms and onions in butter for 20 minutes to add as a topping.

              I guess I can give proportions.
              1 13 oz. box Wolffs kasha medium granulation.
              3 lb. onion sliced very thin. 2lb for broth 1lb for topping
              1.5 lb white mushrooms sliced thin. 1lb. for broth and .5lb.for topping.
              I use the food processor for onion and mushrooms.
              2 eggs
              3 14 oz. cans College Inn broth. Chicken or beef or combination.
              Lots of pepper on both onion/mushroom fry.
              Soy sauce in the broth to taste. Can also add at table.
              1 stick sweet butter for 1/2 for broth mix and 1/2 for topping.