How to cook buckwheat the Russian way
It is easy. The cooking technology is the same as boiling rice. You need to mix one glass of buckwheat with two glasses of water and add some salt. It should boil until all the water is absorbed.
Buckwheat is very convenient in cooking because no foam appears while boiling. You may start cooking and go away for another work; nothing bad will happen.
Pure buckwheat is not very delicious. To make it tasty we usually add butter or sunflower oil. Olive oil is also good, but it is not widespread in Russia. Russians like to finely chop an onion, fry it and then add to buckwheat; it is delicious.
If you are keeping fit, then you may mix it with boiled vegetables. This dish is most healthy. If to add mushrooms, then this dish is called "monastery kasha" and this dish was a common food for monks in Russia in the old times.
Buckwheat may be boiled not only in water, milk is also widespread. Usually this dish is good for breakfast. Russian pediatricians advise buckwheat as a necessary product for children. In a kids store, you may find a lot of types of fast cooking porridge designed especially for kids. See the few photos below.
How and where you may taste buckwheat ("grechka") in Moscow
You may find it in a restaurant of Russian cuisine. Also, buckwheat may be found in some fast-foods of Russian origin. It is "Teremok" or "Melenka". We don't recommend to degustate this dish in fast-foods because the taste is usually not very good. It is better to visit a restaurant for the bright experience.
There are many restaurants in Moscow that offer a "business lunch" from 12 pm to 15 pm. We recommend to take advantage of the offer. This is a good chance for good quality and cheap lunch. Delicious buckwheat is in a menu frequently.
If you want to bring buckwheat to the homeland
There are two ways. The first is to purchase the special steamed product. You may find it in a special carton package. Buckwheat is already packaged in PE bags with 100 grams each. Please see our small gallery of photos below.
This product is more expensive, but much more convenient. You just need to take this bag and put it into boiling water. It takes 5 minutes until buckwheat will be ready for consuming. You will need just to add some salt.
If you want to feel the real life of Russians, then you should buy pure buckwheat in a supermarket.
There are two types: "yadritsa" and "prodel". The first is a solid corn type and the second is a crushed corn type. It is better to choose "yadritsa".
The main rule is to watch the corns are:
- of similar brown color,
- of similar size,
- and there are no bad corns.
It is hard to explain how the bad corn of buckwheat is looking like. That is why we advise you to look in the photo at the right. Usually the bad corns are of dark color and more rude shape.
Be careful, because the bad corns are dangerous. You may even break your teeth. Unfortunately, there are no famous brands of buckwheat in Russia. So you may choose any brand, just avoid of the bad corns. Find our small gallery below.
Health benefits of buckwheat
Buckwheat is very healthy. If compare it with rice, buckwheat contains twice as much of protein, more lipids and less carbohydrate. Buckwheat is also rich with vitamins - C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B9. It contains minerals needed for a human body - Ferrum, Calcium, Magnesium and others. The list of useful substances contained in buckwheat is twice as longer than in rice.
You may think we Russians eat a lot of buckwheat because we care about our health. It is the important reason, but not the main. In Russia the soil is poor, the growing season is short and is limited to 120 days and the weather is unpredictable.
In such conditions buckwheat is the best choice for agriculture. That is why buckwheat is an important part of our culture and tradition.
Many people say buckwheat is good for losing weight because it is low-cal. It is true, but this fact is strongly exaggerated. Buckwheat contains nearly 330 calories in 100 grams, but rice contains nearly 400 calories. The difference is not so large.
Buckwheat can be stored for a long time. It is resistant to insects and mold. That is why the Russian national strategic reserves of food contain a lot of buckwheat. The government sometimes opens it in case of poor harvest to avoid price rising; last time it has happened in the end of 2014.
Enjoy the dishes of Russian cuisine and read our other articles (watch for the list of links below and on the left from the text of this article).