October 30, 2006

Kasha/buckwheat groats (Recipe: kasha varnishkes) {vegetarian}

Kasha

The Ninecooks World Cuisine Cooking Group — yes, nine of us! — gathers in my kitchen every six weeks or so, to explore the cuisine of a different country or region.

This week, we were off to western Russia, with recipes from Moldavia, Byelorussia (aka "White Russia"), and Georgia. And, though most of the recipes were new to me, I included one from my own family's heritage: kasha varnishkes.

Kasha is buckwheat kernels that have been stripped of their inedible outer coating and crushed into smaller pieces, and then toasted in oil to bring out the nutty flavor. While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it's actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel.

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