Tips for Cooking Kasha

1. Always wash grains before cooking and sort out the bad grains.

2. Factors such as accuracy of the heat source, altitude, age and quality of the grains play significant role in cooking – recipe may need to be adjusted for each particular case.

3. Crumbly kasha recipes require choosing exact amount of water so all water is absorbed exactly by the time when kasha is ready. If in doubt as to the correct quantity of water to use consider to use more liquid than required in recipe. Check kasha regularly during cooking. Once the kasha is ready (grains achieve required tenderness), dump kasha into a colander, drain water, put kasha back in the cookware and keep on a low heat until rest of excess moisture is removed.

4. Another suggestion for cooking crumbly kasha is to fry grains for 2-3 minutes before adding them to water. Cover the bottom of the pan in no more than 1” of grains and fry, stirring regularly.

5. To cook crumbly kasha pour grains into the boiling water. After kasha is dense, put the cover on the pan. Now there are several options: you can reduce heat and cook kasha covered until it is ready. Or, more sophisticated, use an oven. Put a piece of butter on the top of kasha and cover. Then take a deep pan and fill it with water (2-3” deep). Put the dish with kasha on the pan and place pan into a heated oven. The oven must have an average temperature. Keep kasha there for 1-2 hours. You can try this technique on any recipe for crumbly kasha.

6. Sometimes to prevent sticking, before cooking buckwheat, rice, millet, or barley kasha you can wash grains first in warm and then hot water. Warm water removes starch from a surface of grains and hot water – the fat that may rise to the surface of grains during their storage.

7. In theory, crumbly kasha should not be stirred. Stirring can make it mushy. However stirring can prevent sticking and burning. Use your judgment when deciding to stir.

8. If during cooking all water was absorbed but kasha is still not ready (grains are still hard)then add 1/2 glass of water and keep cooking (repeat if necessary).

9. It is usually recommended to keep kasha in an oven with low temperature for 15-20 minutes after kasha is cooked. If an oven is not available then put the lid on tight, wrap the pot with kasha in a blanket, and place under the pillow for 15-30 minutes. Kasha will get more crumbly and will acquire reach flavor. This is usually done for buckwheat, millet or barley based kashas.

Above suggestions you may take into account before cooking kasha according your recipe. The next important step is to consider what grains and ingredients you will use in your recipe.