Kasha is made by sprouting and toasting hulled, whole buckwheat groats. This mobilizes nutrients within the buckwheat and prepares the grain for proper digestion. It also reduces the cooking time compared to unsprouted buckwheat groats.
Misleadingly named, buckwheat is neither related to wheat nor is it a true grain. Closely related to rhubarb, this pyramidal shaped gluten-free seed is making a comeback in American cuisine, especially on the gluten-free menu. Whole hulled buckwheat seeds, called groats, can be cooked like rice, made into porridge, or added to soups or other dishes. Buckwheat groats can also be made into kasha by sprouting and toasting. Buckwheat can also be ground into flour traditionally used to make buckwheat noodles and pancakes.
Prep time:2 minutes (each time you rinse)
Soak time:Overnight + 1-2 days sprouting time
- 1 cup whole, (hulled) buckwheat groats
- 3 cups filtered water (plus water for rinsing)
- 1, wide-mouth, half-gallon jar
- Mesh lid (or a mesh onion bag with a rubber band)
- Large bowl
Step 1. Rinse
Place the buckwheat groats into the bowl. Sort, removing any foreign debris or damaged grains. Add enough water to cover the grain by about 1 inch. Agitate the groats with your hand for about 30 seconds. Drain. Add more water and repeat until the water runs clear, usually twice.
Step 2. Soak
Place the rinsed buckwheat groats into the wide-mouth, half-gallon jar. Cover with 3 cups of filtered water. Put on the mesh lid. Let stand in a warm place overnight (8-12 hours).
Step 3. Rinse and Drain (2-3 times daily)
Drain the viscous liquid off the groats through the mesh lid and add enough water to throughly rinse the groats. Repeat. Shake the groats so that they lie along one side of the jar and invert the jar at a 45 degree angle in a large bowl. This way the sprouts can drain, but not overly dry out. Rinse each morning and evening (and noon if you are home) until a tiny white sprout 1/8 to 1/4 inch long appears on each seed.
Step 4. Toast
Spread the sprouted buckwheat into a single layer on a cookie sheet with sides. You may need to do batches. Toast at low heat, ideally 170 degrees or less. Stir every 30 minutes until all of the groats are completely dry, about 3 hours. To test, eat one. If it is crunchy and doesn't have any moisture remaining, it is done.
Step 5. Store
Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator until ready to make Russian Kasha or use for another purpose.