Macrobiotics is not just influenced by Japanese cuisine but other long standing civilizations including any type of Asian, Middle Eastern, North-African, Mediterranean, or other parts of Europe. In this blog, Susan Waxman, a macrobiotic expert chef, shares a traditional Ukrainian kasha recipe. You can serve just kasha as a grain dish or add it to bow tie pasta for a delicious “kasha varnishkes“ dish.
What is Kasha?
Kasha is the name for buckwheat groats that have been toasted.
What are Buckwheat Groats?
Buckwheat groats are hulled seeds from the buckwheat plant. Keep in mind, buckwheat groats are cooked and used like grains but actually they are NOT a wheat. Buckwheat groats are fruit seeds. Making them naturally gluten-free. Buckwheat groats can be bought raw or toasted. Toasted buckwheat has a stronger nutty flavor.
Benefits of Buckwheat Groats
Buckwheat groats are high in protein and fiber. Making it a great food to strengthen kidneys and digestion. As well as, good for sexual vitality.
Kasha Recipe (or Buckwheat Groats Recipe)
1 Cup of roasted kasha
2 Cups of boiling water
1 pinch of sea salt (1/16 – 1/8 teaspoon)
1 Cup of diced onion
1/2 Cup of water
1/2 – 1 teaspoon of olive oil
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
Place the roasted kasha in a pot.
IN a separate pot bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
Add a small pinch of salt to the water and pour the boiling water over the kasha.
Cover the pot, reduce the flame and place a flame deflector under the pot.
Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. (Kasha is a dry grain so the key is not overcooking it–if cooked properly the kasha should be light and fluffy.)
While the kasha in cooking prepare the sautéed onions.
Add a small amount of water to a skillet and the diced onions.
Begin to water sauté the onions.
When the onions begin to change color add 1/16 teaspoon of salt and continue to sauté until the onions are translucent. (Add additional water as needed.)
When the onions are soft allow any water to reduce and add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of olive oil and another 1/16 teaspoon of salt.
Use your wooden utensil to blend the salt, oil and onions together and sauté for another 3 – 5 minutes.
When the kasha is cooked place it in a serving dish.
Add the sautéed onions and use a wooden spatula to mix the onions together with the kasha.
Bow Tie Pasta Recipe
1 package of bow tie pasta
6 quarts of water
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
Bring water to a rolling boil
Add sea salt
Add the pasta to the boiling water
Stir frequently in the first few minutes to prevent sticking
Stir intermittently throughout the cooking
Follow the suggested cooking time on the package, checking the texture
Use a colander to strain the pasta. Do not rinse
Save the cooking water
Kasha Varnishkes Recipe
Kasha and bow tie pasta as cooked in the above recipe
2 1/2 cups of carrots cut into thin matchsticks
5 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 bunch of finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid
Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the carrots and begin to sauté.
Add a small pinch of sea salt (1/16 teaspoon) and continue to sauté.
Add half of the reserved pasta liquid and continue to saute the carrots until they are tender.
Add the rest of the cooking liquid and the remaining sea salt.
Add the cooked pasta, the kasha and parsley and use a wooden spatula to blend all the ingredients.
Place in a serving dish and enjoy kasha varnishkes!
Did you like this kasha recipe? Then try these other recipes by Susan Waxman.