Russian & Eastern European Buckwheat Recipe (Kasha)

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An incredibly nutritious superfood and a staple food in many cuisines across the world (including Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Moldovan, and other Central and Eastern European cuisines), our buckwheat kasha recipe is a simple and filling way to cook and enjoy this wholesome whole grain.

Inspired by Eastern European cuisine, this particular dish and serving suggestions conjure up fond memories of hearty, post-school meals growing up in Moldova.

Buckwheat Kasha Recipe

What is Buckwheat Kasha?

Very simply, both ‘buckwheat’ and ‘kasha’ refer to buckwheat groats, with one key difference: kasha refers to roasted buckwheat groats, while buckwheat is simply raw buckwheat groats. In Moldova and other Central Eastern European cuisines, and in Russia, kasha can also refer to any porridge made of various grains, including pearl barley, barley, oats, and others.

A high source of protein, fiber, and many other nutrients, buckwheat is believed to originate from China, but in time became very popular in Russian and Eastern European cuisines, among others.

Visit any Russian, Polish, or Eastern European food store, and you’ll likely find buckwheat groats. In this recipe, we will look at a delicious, flavorful way to cook buckwheat kasha, and then look at common sides and pairings that help compliment this highly nutritious whole grain.

Ingredients

Making buckwheat is very easy and requires just a few ingredients. For the most basic recipe, you just need buckwheat, salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, and water.

However, you can give it more flavor just by adding a couple of other basic ingredients, mainly onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper. Here are the ingredients we used in this recipe:

  • Buckwheat groats (300 grams, about 1 3/4 cups)
  • Water, boiling (500 ml, about 2.1 cups)
  • Butter, unsalted (50 grams, about 3 and 1/2 tbsp)
  • Olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red sweet/bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 mushrooms
  • salt, 1/2 tsp or to taste
  • pepper, 1/2 tsp

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1. Dice the onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper. Add olive oil & butter to a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onion, salt, pepper, and mushrooms to the pot and sautee for about 4-5 minutes.

Step 2. Rinse the buckwheat several times in clean, cold water. Add the buckwheat to the pot with the vegetables, and add the (boiled) water. Make sure it fully covers the buckwheat groats.

Step 3. Bring everything to a boil (it will only take about 1 minute), and then simmer on low heat for about 23-25 minutes. Make sure to check on it to make sure it still has water and it’s not burning on the bottom of the pot.

Step 4. After 23-25 minutes, turn off the stove and remove the pot from heat. Cover it with a lid, and leave it covered to steam for about 10-15 minutes.

Buckwheat Recipe: A Simple Alternative (The Boil-in Bag)

As you’ve seen, making buckwheat kasha is very easy and you shouldn’t feel intimidated to try! But, if you’ve never tried buckwheat before and are unsure about the timing of the recipe or ratios of buckwheat to water, you can try a boil-in bag (link takes you to Amazon). You just drop it in a pot of boiling water and it’s ready in 15 minutes! Does it get any easier than that?

The image below is of buckwheat made from a boil-in-bag. While wholesome and filling on its own, buckwheat can be served with a number of sides, sauces, and as part of a larger meal.

What kind of Buckwheat to use for our recipe with veggies?

We recommend buying a brand made in Russia, Poland, or Eastern Europe. You can find brands like that on Amazon such as this one.

If you want to buy it at your local grocery store, check the international foods section or sometimes buckwheat groats can be available in the health foods section.

Buckwheat Serving Suggestions

There are so many pairings that go with buckwheat. Growing up, we’d often eat it with sour cream, or with meat patties, or with a white mushroom sauce or bell-pepper-tomato sauce. It’s also really tasty with beef stroganoff! The possibilities are endless!

My favorite pairing for buckwheat is a sour-cream-based mushroom sauce pictured below and meat patties (both recipes coming next month).

Buckwheat Kasha Recipe Card

Buckwheat Recipe (Kasha)

Buckwheat Recipe (Kasha)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • Buckwheat groats (300 grams, about 1 3/4 cups)
  • Water, boiling (500 ml, about 2.1 cups)
  • Butter, unsalted (50 grams, about 3 and 1/2 tbsp)
  • Olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red sweet/bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 mushrooms
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp or to taste
  • Pepper, 1/2 tsp

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper.
  2. Add olive oil & butter to a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onion, salt, pepper, and mushrooms to the pot and sautee for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Rinse the buckwheat several times in clean, cold water. Add the buckwheat to the pot with the vegetables, and add the (boiled) water. Make sure it fully covers the buckwheat groats.
  5. Bring everything to a boil (it will only take about 1 minute), and then simmer on low heat for about 23-25 minutes. Make sure to check on it to make sure it still has water and it’s not burning on the bottom of the pot.
  6. After 23-25 minutes, turn off the stove and remove the pot from heat. Cover it with a lid, and leave it covered to steam for about 10-15 minutes.

Notes

For a super easy alternative, you can use a boil-in-bag of buckwheat. It won't be as tasty but it's a good option if you just want the easier version!

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Author: Doina is a content writer and strategist, originally from Chisinau, Moldova. Passionate about international foods and foodie travel, she loves to replicate authentic dishes in her home kitchen, and use foods tried on her travels to influence and enhance her home cooking.

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