What is Kasha?

Kasha. Photo © Laitr Keiows

Kasha is a type of cereal or porridge made from buckwheat groats which have first been roasted, then soaked and finally slowly simmered until soft.

Roasting the groats brings out strong, nutty flavors, and cooked kasha has a firm texture and slightly gummy consistency.

Kasha is a common dish in Eastern Europe, and kasha varnishkes is a traditional Jewish preparation that combines cooked kasha with bowtie pasta and onions.

While kasha does usually refer to a cereal or porridge made from buckwheat groats, it can also be made from any whole grain, including wheat, barley, millet, and oats.

One of the most common problems people have when cooking kasha is that it can sometimes turn out mushy, which means it's been overcooked. The best way to avoid this is to use no more than 1½ cups of liquid for each cup of uncooked kasha. You might even need less liquid than that.

Another thing is that, even though it's cooked like rice, it cooks much more quickly than rice. You don't need to cook it for more than 6 to 7 minutes.

Finally, even though it has the word "wheat" in its name, buckwheat isn't related to wheat, and so kasha is a gluten-free food.