Buckwheat Recipes- Let's start with some basic facts: despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Buckwheat is often called a grain, but it's actually a fruit seed that is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. It is cultivated in the Himalayas, primarily in Nepal, Bhutan and India.
The best part is that it is available locally, so it is inexpensive. Groats or hulled seeds of buckwheat plant are called white buckwheat, which tend to lend an earthy flavour when used in cooking gluten free dishes. The roasted groats are labelled as ‘kasha' and is used commonly in Russian food. Buckwheat is also sold as flour, popularly known as kuttu ka atta in India, which is used during Navratri to make parathas. You will even find buckwheat sold as noodles, known as Japanese soba noodles, but they contain some quantity of wheat flour and as such are not safe for consumption for those with gluten allergy.
Buckwheat contains all nine essential amino acids, which are our body's building blocks of protein. It is also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium. Various studies have revealed that eating buckwheat regularly may help improve cardiovascular health, assist in regulating blood sugar and reduce your risk of colon cancer. Buckwheat is rich in complex carbohydrates, and is therefore referred to as a pseudocereal.
How to Use Buckwheat | Tips To Use Buckwheat
Buckwheat can be used as a substitute to rice or barley. I love using buckwheat to create a whole bunch of gluten free dishes. The white buckwheat can be used to make gluten free atta for rotis, and it works well as a blend in gluten free maida replacer. I would recommend that you buy the grain and grind it yourself to make buckwheat flour. The packed versions aren't safe if you have celiac disease.
Here are 13 best buckwheat recipes for you to get started with:
1. Kasha Bread
Kasha bread is healthy, and tastes almost like a cake. It is made of kasha or roasted buckwheat grouts, along with buttermilk, cream and nuts. With a beautiful, smooth texture, kasha bread is a delicious option to relish.
2. Buckwheat Pancakes
Pancakes are delicious breakfast option that can be easily prepared in absolutely no time. This pancake recipe here is made with buckwheat flour. Drizzle some honey or top the stack with some fresh fruits.
3. Russian Buckwheat Blini
Nothing like kick starting the day with a delicious breakfast treat. Blini or just blin is a traditional Russian pancake dish and is often served with smetana, quark, butter, caviar and other garnishes. This recipe of blini is made using buckwheat. You can top it with cream and smoked salmon and finish with dill or micro-greens.
4. Japanese Soba Noodles
The perfect snack for kids and adults alike. Noodles are the most favorite meal across age groups, one for the delicious taste and second for how easy it is to prepare them. These Japanese soba noodles are easy to make and taste delicious when stir-fried with teriyaki sauce. Throw in some veggies like mushrooms and carrots, caramalised pork strips (if you like) or just dunk them in dashi.
5. Kuttu Ka Dosa
A crispy dosa recipe, where the batter is made using buckwheat flour and colocasia, and it's filled with a delicious potato mix. Great alternative to deep fried kuttu puris. Serve with coconut and tomato chutney along with a bowl full of sambhar.
6. Buckwheat Tabbouleh
A traditional Middle East salad, Tabbouleh is a mix of healthy veggies tossed with tangy lemon juice and olive oil. This tabbouleh recipe has goodness of buckwheat in abundance, mixed with vegetables. Packed with delicious flavours and nutrients, this buckwheat tabbouleh is great for a mid day meal.
A bright and healhy kuttu salad packed with veggies. Image credits- iStock
7. Falhari Pakore
Show off your culinary skills by frying up these easy-to-make and lip-smacking Falhari Pakore. These crispy treats are coated with a flavourful batter made of buckwheat flour, cumin and anardana, just the perfect treat to relish during the fasting days.
8. Gluten Free Aloo ka Paratha
The most loved Indian meal item gets a gluten free makeover. Aloo ka paratha made with nutritious buckwheat or kuttu aata. Aloo ka paratha is a quintessential Indian bread that we prepare for meals from breakfast to lunch and even dinner. Make them using healthy ingredients like buckwheat flour, rock salt, potatoes and spices. Perfect for fasting days as well!
Vegetarian banana kebabs, flavoured with ginger, coriander, green chillies and cardamom seeds, and brought together with buckwheat flour.
10. Buckwheat Chocolate Walnut Brownie
A brownie made of gluten free flour! Who can deny a decadent piece of dark chocolate brownie? This one is made with buckwheat flour and loaded with walnuts and cacao nibs. Bet you won't be able to tell the difference!
11. Kuttu Ki Puri
Crisp and tasty puris made with buckwheat flour specially during the fasting season of Navratri. These are easy, quick and absolutely delicious to even relish on normal days along with a sabzi of your choice. Kuttu aata goes very well with curd as kuttu tends to generate warmth in our body.
12. Kuttu Khichdi
Kuttu, also known as buckwheat, is used to create a flavourful vrat-friendly snack to enjoy. Buckwheat is a pseudocereal and it is gluten-free. It is one of the few grains that can be eaten during Navaratri fasting.
13. Kuttu Dahi Bhalla
Indulge in soft and mouth-watering vrat-friendly dahi bhallas made with sendha nammak and kuttu aata! Easy, flavourful and wholesome.
Julia Child had once said, “You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients.”
I'll add to this by saying, eat natural gluten free grains that are locally available.
About the Author:
Aarti Sarin Jain is an avid baker and runs an exclusive gluten-free test kitchen. She discovered the joys of a gluten-free living after her elder kid was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. She often experiments with new forms and varieties of gluten-free food without compromising either on taste or quality. You can read more on her blog, www.bakingfrommyheart.com.
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