Buckwheat is not commonly found in Western cuisine, but Eastern Europeans are obsessed with it, and it was a staple of the Soviet kitchen. If you ever find yourself unable to push open a door or lift a heavy item in the presence of someone who grew up in the Soviet Union, they’ll likely tease you: “What’s the matter, didn’t eat your kasha today?” So if you’re not the self-deprecating type, better eat up.
- 1 cup buckwheat groats
- 1 tsp butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups water
- Put the buckwheat in a pot and rinse well with cold water until the water runs clear. Soak up excess water with a paper towel.
- If your buckwheat is untoasted, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. You’ll know it’s untoasted if it’s light or greenish. Toasted buckwheat has an earthy brown color. In a saucepan with a thick bottom, melt the butter over low heat, add salt and buckwheat. Stir well so the buckwheat is evenly coated in butter.
- Meanwhile, boil the water, then pour it into the saucepan.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook on low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Do not lift the lid because the buckwheat is not being boiled so much as steamed, and you don’t want the steam to escape.
- When buckwheat is finished cooking, remove from heat and leave covered for 10 minutes.