Today is Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. In my family, we celebrate like most holidays, with food! I’m making a gorgeous Israeli chopped salad, falafel and one of my favorite comfort foods, kasha. Kasha is a 1,000 year old ancient grain, also known as buckwheat, although despite its name, it is gluten free.
If you’re a fan of Asian food you’ll recognize it as the main ingredient in soba noodles. It’s high in magnesium, which lowers blood sugar, so it’s truly a heart-healthy food. In Israel and Eastern Europe, we cook it as a side dish, along with pasta, and the nutty, rich flavor is equally tasty and filling. There are two important steps in cooking kasha, dry toasting and the boiling process. Below are some pictures as guidelines, but see the recipe for full details. I hope you give it a try, and discover what my family has know for generations.Print
How to Make Kasha
- 1 cup kasha (buckwheat kernels)
- 2 cups water
- salt to taste
- 1 cup cooked bow tie or elbow pasta (optional)
- Place buckwheat kernels in a large skillet and turn heat on medium low.
- Dry toast until the nutty smell is released and color turns slightly darker brown.
- Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- Salt like you would pasta water, then stir in the toasted buckwheat.
- Leave uncovered on medium heat until the water and buckwheat are the same level.
- Then cover with a lid, turn down to low and simmer until all the water is absorbed, 5-10 minutes. This step is important in achieving a fluffy kasha that isn’t mushy or clumpy.
- Turn off the heat and allow to steam for a few minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork.
- Stir in pasta, if you’re using it, and a dollop of butter. It’s also superb with a light sprinkling of parmesan