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KASHA- what to do with it?

Hi all. I bought a package of Kasha (buckwheat) because it was incredibly cheap and I'm trying to eat more whole grains. I haven't cooked it yet because I'm not sure how. Can I treat it like Barley? Do you have any good recipes for it? I'm looking for recipes you've actually cooked and eaten.

thanks

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  1. We use kasha like other people use rice ;-) 2 cups water/stock per 1 cup kasha. I quickly dry pan roast it first on low heat until you get that nice toasted kasha smell. Then put it in a dutch oven and add water (or stock) and salt. Bing to a boil on low heat and then cover with lid and put in a 300F oven for 30 mins. Once you take it out of the oven, cover with a towel and let rest for 10-15 mins. The open lid, fluff with a fork and add butter to taste. Serve with anthing (beef stroganoff is my fave!)

    1. i learned how to cook kasha from a jewish girlfriend's mother, first, you mix your kasha with a row egg. then you heat the kasha on low (do not burn it) until dry while stirring all the time . when dry add your water or stock and cook according to package. if your water or stock is cold, poor it carefully in the hot pan. it will be less dangerous to add boiling stock or water to your kasha and shorten the cooking time accordingly. most people do not season the kasha for cooking so as not to interfere with the flavors of the rest of the meal. use it as a side dish for eastern type meals, like rice or couscous,etc.
      personally, i prefer to season the kasha while cooking with bouillon cubes and/or finely chopped mirepoix and/or aromatics(garlic, chilies, bay leaf...). enjoy, ebelgian off

      1 Reply
      1. re: ebelgian

        This is my method, learned from my own Jewish mother, but I also add caramelized onions and a healthy amount of salt and pepper. Otherwise kasha tastes like dust.

        The best thing is to add in cooked macaroni at the end, to make kasha varnishkes. Bowtie pasta is the traditional addition, but you can use elbow macaroni or whatever you want. It is a carb festival, and the ultimate Ashkenazi Jew comfort food.

      2. What Tatyana said. Slavs/Poles tend to eat it only as a starch accompanying, generally, a meat in a creamy sauce, as it has a fairly dry "mouth feel". It is seldom an ingredient in something else, as barley usually is, as it tends to fall apart under long cooking. Her prep instructions are spot on, although some will also beat an egg and mix it into the groats before pan-toasting.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gin n Tonic

          Poles eat kasha in many other ways, too.

          When cooking kasha in stock (vegetable or beef with some crushed porcini, bay leaf and some pimento), fry some onion with garlic, then mix it with cooked kasha. Great for meats, especially in creamy, mushroomy sauces.

          Another kind of 'kashotto' is kasha pilaf - more or less the same as above, but with raisins, stewed beef, grated carrot and a lot of parsley. You can sprinkle it with baked walnuts.

          Kasha with cottage cheese, fried onion, parsley and/or fresh mint makes a very nice stuffing for pierogi or savoury crêpes, a cheap and delicious lunch or dinner dish..

          Kasha with finely chopped bacon, raisins, onion, fresh parsley makes a splendid stuffing for goose baked in sage and muscat nut.

          You can add some cooked kasha to home-baked bread.

          Kasha flour is great for chocolate souffles and for blinis.

          As noted above - if you bought non-roasted kasha, roast it at home: the taste is much, much deeper and full of flavour.

        2. I'm in agreement with what everyone else has posted as well.

          It has become a staple of our Thanksgiving table for years now as one of the stuffings.

          I dice carrot, onion, celery, and mushrooms and saute until translucent, then remove into a bowl.

          I put kasha into a bowl and stir a raw beaten egg into it until grains are separated. Then add into saute pan and 'roast' until you can smell the nuttiness, then add in the liquid, sometimes stock but water in a pinch, I also add in some fresh herbs. Doesn't take long to cook, then I re-add the diced veg and roasted chestnuts. It's delicious.

          Just a warning though, kasha tends to quadruple in amount once liquid is added, so just make sure of the measurements. For Thanksgiving, I add in the entire box (I think it's 13oz) but then I usually have 12 people that I give leftovers to, but it's also great the next day.

          1. I don't eat grains any more, but I LOVED kasha varnishkas growing up. Use the dry pan roasted, add hot stock method others have described, and mix in cooked pasta bowties and carmelized onions at the end. YUM. I think my mom may've used stock or bouillon, never plain water.

            1. My Russian grandma made the traditional Christmas eve dish of oven baked kasha with heavy cream. I always found it terribly bland, but others loved it. I am sure if you find a listing of recipes for the 12 meatless Christmas Eve dishes, kasha will be there somewhere/

              1. Thanks for all your repsonses :-)

                1. A Middle Eastern restaurant used to mix it with rice and serve it in an entree similar to varnishkas., I think they called it kushari. I hated kasha growing up but I do like small amounts now. I credit the owners of the restaurant for re-introducing me to kasha, unfortunately the new owners took it off the menu.

                  1. #1>use it to stuff the chicken or turkey
                    #2>use it as an extender in meatballs or meatloaf
                    #3>crush with a rolling pin and use instead of bread crumbs to dip alarge veal chop in before frying
                    #4> kasha soup, or kasha barley soup
                    #5>noodle kugel w/kasha and fried onions
                    and for the dairy (milchige) side of the kitchen
                    #6> serve as a hot cereal for breakfast with milk instead of farina

                    We grew up eating kasha many times a week, although my mother's side was German, my father's family were peasants from the east (5 generations back)

                    My neice is allergic to wheat, so uses kasha constantly in her kitchen, she has even ground a fine kasha flour and made noodles

                    SEE THE KASHA BUCKWHEAT SOBA Thread in this topic for more ideas

                    1. szmollka, those are some wonderful ideas! wow.
                      chez nous it was always nothing fancy. I have been known to empty a fair amount of ketchup atop a heaping mound of kasha with bowties, liberally salt-and-peppered! ;)