A Japanese ghoul. The cannibalistic spirit is said to hover near crematoriums to try to feed off human corpses before they can be properly cremated. Many Japanese families maintain a vigil over the bodies of their recently deceased relatives to ward off the kasha by making loud noises on bells, gongs, and drums.

This is a recipe for the Polish version of this dish, prepared as a full blown meal. It's tasty and filling, and just the thing to warm the belly on cold northern evenings. It gives you a sense of height and power ... well, one outta two ain't bad. In a bout of sheer genius inventiveness, I called it:

Kasza with stuff

The full name is kasza gryczana (kasha gritch-ah-na), but it is shortened to kasza in normal speech.
Please /msg me if this recipe exists in your language, and I'll add it here.

This recipe serves two hungry people. You may choose to go with 4/5ths or 5/6ths of a cup to make an 'average' size meal. 3/4ths is right out.

You'll need:

  • A cup of buckwheat groats. Either roasted or unroasted are fine, but they should be whole, not ground up. Your local health food store should have it.
  • Two cups of water, with another half-cup on standby.
  • 1 egg.
  • 1/2 - 3/4 of large yellow onion.
  • 5-8 large mushrooms, based on personal taste and how many sausages you use. If you have access to wild mushroms, then by all means use them, you lucky sod.
  • 1 or 2 spicy Andouille pork sausages, or any other pork sausage that fries well and is spicy. One is ample, but meat lovers may desire more.
Phase 1: Coat the buckwheat

Crack the egg and mix the white and yolk in a bowl.
Heat up a frying pan on a low medium heat; when you can feel heat coming from the surface, throw the buckwheat on. Add the liquid egg on top of the buckwheat pile.

Using a spatula, mix the buckwheat with the egg until the buckwheat is completely coated and glistening - it should form one sticky mass.

--> Skip to Phase 2 for a second and start boiling the water. Ok, you can continue now.

Keep flipping the buckwheat on the pan until it separates completely, fully absorbing the egg. The end result will look as if you've never added the egg; the groats will be fullly separated and pourable. Keep the heat on, you'll need it for the stuff.

Phase 2: Cook the buckwheat

Bring the two cups of water to a boil (should already be boiling), and pour the resultant buckwheat in. As soon as all the buckwheat is in, reduce the heat to Medium; the water should be at a very low simmer. Add a shake of salt.

For the next 15 minutes, make sure that all of the buckwheat is submerged, but no mixing is necessary.

--> Skip to Phase 3, then return while the stuff is merrily stir-frying along. The buckwheat will absorb the water in about 10-12 minutes; the groats will expand, turn grey and become soft (and edible).

Make sure all the water is gone into the buckwheat - to prevent burning, adding a bit of the side water may be necessary, but do not exceed half a cup - it will start getting overly mushy otherwise. Use just enough to keep the bottom of the pan slightly wet.

Phase 3: Cook the additions

Stir fry the onions, mushrooms and sausage in your usual preferred manner. I use enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom of the pan, heat on medium until heat is palpable (hold palm horizontally 3 inches from the pan - if you feel strong heat, IT IS TIME), throw on the onions and stir lightly until the flavor slightly weakens, then throw in the shrooms and sausage - then stir to completion, that being when the onions have caramellized, but are still slightly crunchy.

Phase 4: Combine and eat

Your "stuff" should be ready, and the buckwheat should have absorbed all the water. Throw the buckwheat onto the pan and toss it about with the spatula for no more than a minute.

Consume. It may need a bit of salt. Enjoy the heartiness. While the grey mess may not look all that hot to the eye, I assure you it's quite pleasing to the belly and taste buds.

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