Monday, 14 January 2008

(just my imagination) buckwheat: 2 sorts

Polish: gryka
Upper Sorbian: hejduška
Finnish: tattari
Esperanto: fagopiro
Korean: 메밀
Lithuanian: sėjamasis grikis
Welsh: gwenith yr hydd
Japanese: ソバ
Catalan: fajol
Romanian: hrişcă

I heard that kasha means in English (due to Jewish inmigrants) buckwheat porridge, but in Polish kasza means any cooked cereal, and we eat cooked grains of millet, barley, buckwheat, maize porridge and wheat. Buckwheat is really really healthy, contains rutin to strengthens the capillaries, especially when not roasted. Roasted grains are brown and have a catacteristic smell; not roasted are almost white with a greenish shade, they are healthier and their taste is milder. There are many ways of preparing it but my last hit is unroasted, white buckwheat with vegetables, which I call it my Polish tabbuleh :)

1 cup of not roasted buckwheat grains
1 bunch parsley leafs. Don't be confused, look at this picture. The white root is also parsley.

1/2 yellow paprika
1-2 pickled cucumbers / gherkins (or any other pickles, but has to be sour)

1 spoon of herbs (dill, cilantro, thyme, anything you like)
1 spoon oil (olive or flax)

1. Wash buckwheat grains. Cook them in 2 cups of water and half spoon of salt, covered, on a low heat. Buckwheat should absorb all the water.

2. Chop finely parsley greens, paprika and cucumbers

3. Mix all the ingredients, add herbs and oil to taste.

Ok, now you ask me how differrent is a toasted buckwheat. First of all, before cooking it is dark brown and after cooking, brownish-light pink. The taste and smell is stronger (untoasted buckwheat is mild) and tastes great with mushroom sauce or curd. Just take a look at toasted buckwheat with diced carrots, onions and herbs:


Tim said...

In the picture the leaf looks more like what we would call in USA Mexican parsley i.e. cilantro, and the root looks like parsnip. About buckwheat, the hulls are black, which explains the alternate French name, ble noir. Most buckwheat pancakes & mixes here have black specks in the flour. The hulls can be completely removed in modern processing but I suppose that historically this was not so. They probably add some hull back into the flour for tradition's sake. The de-hulled groats turn more brown on the outside when exposed to light.

Tim said...

I tried grinding whole buckwheat, hulls and all, into flour. It is quite good and has more of the flavor we associate with buckwheat in buckwheat cakes. By volume or weight the hulls do not seem to be as much or as much a problem as with oats or barley. How about some authentic recipes for fava beans? I know that many recipes can substitute fava for chick peas, but fava is known now to be more healthy, despite namesake Cicero's fame as an orator. Falafel? That would be down your alley with croquettes and fritters.