Buckwheat Secrets: With Mushroom and Onion

There is nothing exotic in the buckwheat for the Russians. For us, “grechka” – ordinary and simple side dish, like mashed potatoes, boiled pasta or rice.

It’s very good for health and considered a dietary product. So once upon a time it was difficult to buy. In Russia buckwheat came from Greece, so its name – “grechnevaya krupa” – means “grains from Greece.”

Buckwheat, which is sold in Russian stores, already roasted, so it’s not mushy after cooking.

Traditional addition for grechnevaya kasha – mushrooms and onions, best result will be with wild mushrooms, preferably- boletus, but store-bought work well too. Try dried mushrooms – soaked in warm water or crushed in powder.

And here is some tips for cooking buckwheat in Russian style.

Buckwheat with Mushrooms

1 cup buckwheat groats, whole grain
2 cups water
1+ 2 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 Portobello mushrooms
1 medium yellow or sweet onion
2 hard boiled eggs (optional)

Pick the stones and debris from groats, especially if buckwheat was bought by weight.

Rinse the groats several times, drain well. If buckwheat has not been previously browned (usually indicated on the box), it makes sense to cook it in a medium heated skillet until light golden brown. If your buckwheat became mess anytime then you cook it, there is tip – mix uncooked buckwheat groats with raw egg, and then roast or bake until golden brown. This kasha named pukhovaya (fluffy).

Bring to boil 2 cups of water.

Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in heavy pot (with lid), add the buckwheat and stir to cover, add  salt and 2 cups of boiling water. Stir with a fork,  cover tightly with a lid, turn heat down to low, and cook for 15-16 minutes. Remove the heat and let buckwheat stand, covered, for 10-15 minutes more.

My grandmother muffle pot of buckwheat in the kitchen towels and cover with pillow to keep warm.

Meanwhile, slice onion, saute it in remaining 2 tsp. butter until soft, add mushrooms and cook 5-7 minutes more. Mix with hot buckwheat, serve immediately. In Russian tradition, top it with chopped hard-boiled egg.

1 cup cooked buckwheat is about 165 calories

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