Roasted buckwheat with mushrooms – a delicious Polish recipe for kasha with onions and lots of herbs.
After one year entirely dedicated to Romanian food, I am starting another Eastern Europe recipes short series today. This time I will show you some wonderful Polish recipes.
Why Poland? Well, we spent a week in Poland during the kids' autumn holidays at the beginning of October last year and I liked the food soooo much, I just had to try to recreate some or better said almost all of the delicious dishes we had there, at home.
And because there were quite a few of them I wanted to cook myself, I decided to make a blog series out of it. Maybe you would like to try these delicious and super easy to make puff pastry croissants filled with jam, these Polish meatballs, or this amazing Bezowy or meringue cakes, which is one of the best cakes ever.
What is Kasha?
I am starting with this roasted buckwheat recipe or kasha because this is a dish we had for breakfast in the hotel a couple of times. It would have never occurred to me to serve such a dish for breakfast, but there it was: a rather dark (almost black) heap of nondescript something with bits of mushrooms and onions in it, in the middle of all the other breakfast foods.
Despite the looks, this kasha with mushrooms and onions was the best tasting dish we had in Poland. And that is saying a lot, considering that all the food we had there was delicious!
Kasha is a porridge made from buckwheat or other grains, like wheat, pearl barley, or semolina, for instance. In the US, when referring to kasha people mean porridge made with buckwheat groats, but otherwise (in Eastern Europe), there are lots of types of kasha.
Kasha actually means "groats" and not buckwheat, like I used to think.
Roasted or unroasted buckwheat?
- You can buy buckwheat either roasted or unroasted. Sometimes the issue is specified on the packet, but unfortunately not always.
- Most recipes I cooked with buckwheat ask for the roasted kind, so I did actually searched the internet for instructions on roasting buckwheat myself. I had just assumed that, unless specified on the packet, it would be unroasted.
- But, apparently, I was so wrong and spent time roasting groats that were already roasted...
- Most buckwheat that you would find in a regular store is already roasted and usually, the packet will only mention anything if it is raw. I wish I had known that before...
- The best and easiest way to tell if the groats are roasted or not is by looking at them: raw grains have a very light color, while the roasted ones are brown and crunchier if you bite on them... That easy!
- As all buckwheat I have ever bought was very brown, I know now that it had always been roasted. 🙂
Why toast buckwheat with eggs?
- A commonly asked question.
- The egg helps separate the groats, and that gives the kasha its specific consistency.
- You will not really be able to taste the eggs.
More buckwheat recipes:
Did you buy a bag of roasted buckwheat to make kasha with mushrooms and onions? And you don't know what to cook with the rest of it?
Buckwheat Soup with Vegetables
Buckwheat Bread - made with the flour
Roasted Buckwheat with Mushrooms – Polish Kasha
- 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cup roasted buckwheat groats Note
- 1 egg
- 450 ml/ 15.2 fl.oz/ a bit less than 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 3 small onions
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz brown mushrooms
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- a small bunch of dill
- some parsley less than dill
- Beat the egg lightly in a bowl. Add the buckwheat and mix well.
- Heat a nonstick pan without any fat, place the buckwheat into the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes until all the corns are dry and separated.
- In the meantime slice the onions thinly.
- Remove the buckwheat from the heat and transfer it to a small saucepan. Add the chicken stock or vegetable broth, bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the buckwheat is soft and the stock has been absorbed.
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in the pan and cook the onions on low heat for about 15 minutes or until they are very soft and deeply golden. Stir often and don't let them catch. I added two small splashes of water in between, the onions were threatening to catch and I didn't want to add more butter.
- Clean the mushrooms with kitchen paper and slice them as well. When the onions are cooked, add the mushrooms and continue cooking until they release their juices and the juices then evaporate, this will take about 5-7 minutes. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the buckwheat to the pan and stir well to mix. Stir in the second tablespoon butter. Chop the dill and the parsley and add them to the pan. Serve immediately.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
This looks simply amazing! Homemade stock must have made a huge difference here.
It almost always makes a difference, in my opinion, it cannot be compared with the cubes. 🙂
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Oooooh- I love the heartiness of this recipe! I bet this would also be yummy for breakfast with a poached egg on top 🙂
We did have it only for breakfast in Poland. 🙂 The poached egg sounds great!
@Adina, you need to try that with beef stew and soured( as oppose to pickled ) cucumbers. Thats the best combination.
Ok, thank you. 🙂 I will try that.
What hearty and healthy meal! Just happen to have some buckwheat waiting for a dish. Thanks Adina!
Looks lovely and it's easy to make it vegetarian. I will keep it in mind.
What a nice surprise to see Polish recipes! I'm so happy someone likes Polish cuisine abroad!
I love buckwheat groats (I have several recipes on my blog if you look for some new ideas... it's delicious with miso for example and in general in many non-Polish recipes ; try it instead of rice in fried rice!) but I've never heard about it being served for breakfast!
You have managed to create a beautiful buckwheat bowl!
(I don't know if you know, but, in spite of what English sources suggest, "kasha" or rather "kasza" doesn't mean buckwheat groats, but "groats" in general, for example "pearl barley" is "kasza jeczmienna", semolina is "kasza manna", etc. Buckwheat groats is "kasza gryczana").
Thank you, Sissi, I didn't know that, my Polish is quite unexisting. 🙂 One word I've learned there and probably will always remember was biedronka - ladybug. Or I can recognize some words that are similar in German, English or Romanian. 🙂 I will have a look at your buckwheat recipes, I must admit that although I love it, I use it mostly for soups.
Sound delicious! I've actually never made buckwheat before. Just curious, I notice it does say serve immediately. Do you think this would be ok as a meal prep meal, heated up? Or more of a fresh one time dinner?
Hi Kimberly. To tell you the truth although some dishes are definitely best when served immediately and this one is indeed better when freshly cooked, I do heat up most anything if I have leftovers, I don't like to waste food. Add a bit of broth and stir often to make sure that the buckwheat doesn't catch to the pan, if you decide to reheat it.
This recipe looks great - I have a bag of buckwheat and can’t remeber why I bought it ! I thought buckwheat needed to be soaked overnight ? Also my bag says toasted is that the same as roasted ?
Hi Caroline, buckwheat should not be soaked overnight, you can use as it is. And toasted is roasted, so everything is fine. 🙂 I hope you like it!
LOL Why did you write that you did not manage to make your kasha as ugly as the one in Poland? Kasha is ugly?
Oh, you should have seen the one we had in Poland, like a big heap of p..p!!! Dark brown, almost black with little worm like stripes of onion... really ugly, but tasty.
Steven P Shiflett says
Toss a few capers in the mix to give it a little pop.
Sounds great! I will try it Next time.
Rochelle mogilner says
Kasha and varnishkes or bow tie pasta is a popular Jewish food which I learned from my mother who came from Uman and my mother in law who came from Vilnius . It is made exactly the way you describe with mushrooms and onions and the pasta is added to the batch. It was and is a nostalgic food of immigrants from Eastern Europe. I just. Made a batch today.
Sounds great! So basically kasha is made with buckwheat and varnishkes with pasta instead of buckwheat? I am sure it tastes wonderful.
@Adina, varnishkes just adds pasta (usually bowties) in addition to the buckwheat.
Finally a savory buckwheat recipe that looks delicious:) I will try your recipe soon. Great website ! Best wishes from Germany/)
Thank you, Michael. I hope you liked the kasha.
hello! I'm curious about the egg and buckwheat at the beginning; this is the first time I've encountered such an application before cooking the kasha in liquid. Is this a common step? Is it necessary? Thanks, I look forward to cooking this recipe!
Hi Jessica. Coating the buckwheat in egg helps the grains stay separated. Otherwise they might clump together a little and the finished dish will have another consistency. It will still taste good though. 🙂 You might want to try both ways and see what you like best.
Just made this today. Its delicious. Love the ideas above of capers or adding a poached egg.
So happy to hear it, Debbie. Thanks for the feedback.
Jenny Caneen says
I don't use non-stick pans, so for fat I was lucky enough to have duck fat in the fridge. That gives everything an extra richness! I put meatballs and sauce on the side of this lovely dish, and rounded it out with boiled beats (that's pretty authentic, right?). Very tasty dish.
Thank you for your feedback, Jenny, I am so glad you liked it! 🙂
Phillip A. Bobrowski says
In my search for "authentic" Polish recipes, I came upon one that, through translation, seemed rather vague. As I dove into further, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the starch for the recipe was buckwheat groats.
Gołąbki - or as many of you know them, cabbage rolls.
In many of today's recipes, they call for rice to be mixed with the meat. BUT, rice was something you would probably NOT find in a Polish kitchen in the 18th and 19th centuries.
To add to my surprise, the cabbage leaves used were NOT taken from a head that has been boiled. Fuel for cooking was something that needed to be conserved, so it would NOT be "wasted" just to boil water. The cabbage leaves were taken from whole PICKLED heads of cabbage. When you think about it, why not let some water and salt passively take care of preparing the cabbage.
Well, after waiting the 2 months for the cabbage to pickle, I prepared my tray of gołąbki, using that and a buckwheat/meat filling.
WOW! A TOTALLY different, yet intriguing taste. The simple task of pickled cabbage gave these "little pigeons" a tartness that was easily tempered by the the depth of flavor brought around by the buckwheat.
Old World. Old School.
I love buckwheat kasza and yours looks delicious. One thing I do, to keep it all to one pot, is to cook the onion and mushrooms in a deep saucepan and remove them when they are done. I then toast the buckwheat and egg in the same pan, add some broth, cover and cook the buckwheat. When the buckwheat has absorbed all the liquid, simply stir in the onions, mushrooms an herbs. The steaming buckwheat will heat them right up. Dzięki!
Sounds great! Thank you for the feedback.
In the beginning, after soaking the buckwheat in egg... do you add the whole egg to the pan or just the soaked buckwheat?
Hi Phil. Everything, the whole buckwheat-egg mixture.