Good hearty buckwheat kasha is a serious matter. It’s a thing in itself crowning the whole of Russian cuisine. It requires a responsible and thorough approach when cooking with it, but the rewards are hundredfold. You will appreciate it when, after one helping of kasha, you will reach out for the second one. Today’s recipe is the old inherited one, from along time ago used in Russia – buckwheat with wild mushrooms.
On its own, buckwheat porridge is very tasty and healthy, but with the addition of cooked mushrooms you won’t be able to pull yourself away from it. This recipe is not just to everyone’s liking, but it’s also vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free (unless you serve it with sour cream). Fresh mushrooms can also be used, but buckwheat will be the aroma of the dish and it is the best with the dried ones.
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- 1 cup buckwheat
- 1 cup dried mushrooms, I used dried Portabella mushrooms
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small carrot, peeled, shredded
- 1 cup pumpkin, peeled, shredded (I used butternut squash)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- fresh herbs and sour cream to serve (optional)
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and add the 2 cups boiling water. Soak for 30 minutes to soften. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop the mushrooms.
In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions, carrot, pumpkin and sauté, stirring frequently, until brown, about 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the buckwheat and mushroom liquid, season well. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the buckwheat is soft.
Ladle the buckwheat kasha into warmed bowls and garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve with sour cream.