Buckwheat groats are just one of several kinds of groats, or grains that have the inedible outer hull removed. Besides buckwheat, there are oat, wheat and barley groats. Kasha is the buckwheat groat after it has been toasted in oil, turning brown and developing a nutty flavor.
Buckwheat groats are the remains of a buckwheat kernel after the outer hull has been removed. They are sometimes sold as whole groats or cracked groats and have a light bitter taste that can be removed by toasting the groats in oil.
Groats --- Uses
Groats can be used whenever whole grains are called for in a recipe. They can be used to make porridge and are also used to thicken soups and gravies. When ground into flour, buckwheat groats become buckwheat flour and are used to make buckwheat pancakes.
In Russia, the word kasha refers to many different types of porridge that are made out of grain. Over time, the meaning of the word has narrowed and now refers to buckwheat groats that have already been toasted in oil, which removes the bitter flavor of the raw groat. It can be purchased as a fine, medium or coarse grain or as a whole grain.
Kasha -- Uses
Kasha appears in many Russian recipes. One of the most popular is Kasha Varnishkas, a combination of cooked kasha and bowtie pasta. Simmered with milk, it is used for breakfast. Cooked kasha is also used as a filling for knishes, where dough is wrapped around the filling and baked. Sauteed onions and mushrooms can be added to the kasha for a tasty side dish.
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