Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hearty winter delights 3: Buckwheat kasha

I've often read about this dish in Russian novels and fairy-tales but never tried it before today. Basically kasha can be a kind of porridge suitable for breakfast but it can also be a dinner or lunch thing, like rice or couscous. It's made with different grains--barley, millet, buckwheat--but buckwheat is the most common, and most beloved.
Not hard to see why--it has a lovely nutty flavour and a good texture. And it's easily made. We used the whole grains that you can buy these days from any supermarket, quickly dry-fried them in a pan for a few seconds, then put them in a baking dish, poured hot water over them just to cover, added a little salt, and left the dish in the bottom compartment of the wood stove overnight. In the morning, the grains were fluffy and cooked through but not soggy at all. We had some for breakfast with cream and sugar(as pictured), and it was delicious. But as we prepared quite a lot of it, it's also going to feature on the dinner table tonight, warmed through with fried onions and herbs stirred throughout, to accompany roast chicken!
You don't have to wait for it to cook overnight, of course; the grains cook in about 30 minutes on top of the stove. An excellent alternative to rice, couscous, etc, and very nutritious.


  1. So, you could cook it in a pot on the stove like rice? Simmered? I admit I don't care for cous-cous, but this sounds more versatile.

  2. Yes, that's right--you can do that--takes about 30 mins. You can also start it on top of the stove, say for 5 mins and then put it in the oven for 25 minsso it kind of bakes.)