Buckwheat, also known as kasha and groats, was originally cultivated in the cooler countries of Central Asia, buckwheat traveled to Europe and was incorporated into the cuisines of Finland, Austria, northern Italy, France, Russia, and eastern Europe. Buckwheat arrived in the U.S. with Dutch immigrants as early as the 1620s and with the Germans in the late 1600s and early 1700s.
Untoasted buckwheat is a pale greenish white and has a mild taste and has a pretty little heart shape. Buckwheat groats are whole, raw, or white buckwheat kernels, stripped of the inedible outer coating. While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it's actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel.
Buckwheat hulls are used in mattresses and pillows.
Unprocessed groats are bitter, and should be toasted in oil for a few minutes before cooking. Kasha is buckwheat groats that already have been crushed into smaller pieces and toasted to bring out the nutty flavor. To toast, heat a frying pan and add the buckwheat. Add a little extra virgin olive oil. Stir until toasted. The oil is optional.
Buckwheat is as versatile as rice. Measure it just as you would rice, with 1 cup dry groats to 2 cups water. Rinse buckwheat in a fine mesh strainer, but rinse only briefly. Buckwheat is so porous that it absorbs water easily. So make sure there is enough water to avoid burning. Bring 2 cups water and 1 tsp salt to a boil. Add 1 cup rinsed buckwheat. Turn heat down to low, and cook 12-15 minutes. Check the buckwheat halfway through.
KASHA VARNISHKES (Yiddish for buckwheat with bow tie noodles)
1 box egg bow-tie noodles, or 1 lb farfalle, prepared according to package directions, drained and set aside
1 large onion, diced
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup kasha (medium granulation, or whichever you prefer)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups water
2 Tbsp butter, optional
1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
Black pepper to taste
In a small frying pan, sauté the onion in canola oil until the onion is quite soft and brown. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix the kasha and beaten egg with a fork until all of the kernels are coated with the egg. In a small pot or in the microwave, bring the water, butter, salt and pepper to a boil. Set aside.
In another small pot over medium heat, cook the kasha (do not add oil or butter), stirring constantly with a fork to heat and separate all the kernels, for 1-2 minutes until all the kernels separate (the cooked egg on the outside of the kernels helps keep them apart). Remove from heat, and pour in the liquid and onions. Stir, then cover immediately and cook over lowest heat for 10 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with the noodles.
Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter
In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter.
In another bowl, mix together white flour, buckwheat flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Pour the dry ingredients into the egg-mixture. Stir until the two mixtures are just incorporated.
Heat a griddle or large frying pan to medium-hot, and place 1 tablespoon of butter, margarine or oil into it. Let the butter melt before spooning the batter into the frying pan, form 4 inch pancakes out of the batter. Once bubbles form on the top of the pancakes, flip them over, and cook them on the other side for about 3 minutes. Continue with this process until all of the batter has been made into pancakes.
Source: Allrecipes.com by "Jessica"