It’s pretty simple, really. Just a hearty and long-lasting grain cereal that historically grows in Russia and has been a staple here since time immemorial. It’s cheap, rich in protein, and gluten-free. It can be hot cereal for breakfast, a side dish for lunch and a casserole with meat and vegetables for dinner. And it’s a security blanket.
In other countries it is sometimes referred to as kasha, but in Russia, kasha refers to any cooked cereal or porridge, not just buckwheat. Just so you know.
So now that everyone’s got a grecha stash, what do you do with it beyond the basics? Turns out, lots! A popular culinary blogger Belonika approached it in her usual decadent fashion and offered a recipe that turns ordinary grecha into a sumptuous risotto with distinct Russian flair. You saute onions and dried mushrooms in butter, add dried grecha and brown it, add water, bring it to boil and stick it in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan and dill, and forget about takeout. How’s this for peasant food?
Vladimir Mukhin did on the late night talk show Vechernii Urgant. He soaked 250 grams of green grecha in water for two hours, put it in a blender with a 400 ml can of coconut milk and two tablespoons of simple syrup, and poured the dough-like mixture onto a skillet to make pancakes that smelled delicious even through the screen. Just as I thought it couldn’t get any better, he added some dried milk to what was left of the dough and poured it into freezer containers for … buckwheat ice cream. Fry that dough and you’ll get waffle cones for well, buckwheat ice cream.
Feel like that might be a little much? You can always just boil it straight out of the bag with a little salt until all the water is absorbed, but it’s so much better with tushenka. Here’s to acquiring new skills during self-isolation!