Buckwheat is a nutritious, gluten-free seed with a nutty flavor. It can be used in a variety of dishes including salads and soups, or enjoyed as a side dish. Learn how to cook buckwheat perfectly in the instant pot with this easy recipe.
Buckwheat is a very popular grain in both Russia and Ukraine. Russians use the sentence'Щи да каша - пища наша', which translates to 'Cabbage soup and cereal - that’s our food' and for them, cereal is "buckwheat."
It is known as "Grechka" and was an iconic meal during World War 2, served with canned meat. Today, it is served during Victory day celebrations and Russia is the largest producer of buckwheat in the world.
In India, buckwheat is called "Kuttu" in Hindi, kutto in Gujarati, and papparai in Tamil. It is a staple grain used during fasting on many festivals like Navratri, Shivaratri, or Janmashtami.
What is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is a great choice when following a gluten-free diet. It belongs to the family of pseudocereals meaning like other grains, buckwheat doesn’t grow on grass. And it is definitely not related to wheat and is available in many forms like groats, kasha, flour, flakes and honey.
Groats: Buckwheat groats are the whole kernels that are triangular in shape and have a nutty flavor. They are usually lighter brown in color and also come in medium-sized pieces usually known as buckwheat grits.
Kasha: Toasted buckwheat is called Kasha and it is darker in color than groats. They are slightly nuttier in taste than groats and hold their shape better than groats. Kasha is also used to make buckwheat pilaf and porridge.
Buckwheat flour: Made from finely ground buckwheat kernels, the buckwheat flour is of two types. Dark-colored flour uses the whole buckwheat including the hull and light-colored flour is without the hull.
It is a healthy substitute for baking recipes like bread, soba noodles, crepes, and pancakes and is a good source of fiber, similar to sorghum.
Buckwheat honey: It is made from buckwheat flowers. It has a malty taste and is darker in color.
Buckwheat is rich in flavonoids and is a wonderful option for those who are following a gluten-free diet or have celiac disease. As it is a seed, buckwheat is gluten-free. It also has many benefits like:
- It is rich in fiber and aids in better digestion
- Helps in controlling blood sugar and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases .
- It is an excellent source of minerals and antioxidants
- It keeps you full for a longer time.
Where to buy?
I found buckwheat at a local international food bazaar which carries food from various countries. Bob's red mill also has buckwheat, but I am not sure they are the toasted buckwheat groats. However there are many options for toasted buckwheat (kasha) available on Amazon.
How to cook in Instant Pot?
It is very easy to cook buckwheat in the instant pot similar to rice.
- Rinse the buckwheat before you start cooking. I put them in a strainer, and put it under running water for a few seconds.
- Then start by adding water and the rinsed buckwheat to the instant pot. Add salt, and optionally some oil or butter.
- Close the lid with the vent in sealing position and set to pressure cook.
- When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes. Open the lid after the pressure is completely released from the instant pot.
- Open the lid, and fluff the buckwheat with a fork. Then take the steel insert out of the instant pot, so that heat does not overcook the bottom layer of the buckwheat.
- Buckwheat is ready to be served.
You want to make sure that you don't overcook it. No one likes a mushy bowl of buckwheat. With this instant pot method, you will get perfectly cooked separate grains every time.
- Add 1 cup water to the main steel insert of the instant pot and place the trivet in the main insert.
- Then add water and buckwheat to a smaller steel bowl that will fit in the instant pot and place the bowl on the trivet.
- Then close instant pot lid with the vent in sealing position. Set it to cook for about 8 minutes at high pressure.
- When the pressure cooker beeps, let the pressure release naturally and open the lid after the complete pressure release.
- Then fluff it with a fork and the buckwheat is ready to be served.
- Add 2 cups water, 1 cup kasha, 1 teaspoon salt and 1-2 teaspoon oil to a pot. Set it on medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.
- Now lower the heat and cover with a lid. Cook for about 10 minutes. Then remove from heat.
- Let it rest for another 15-20 minutes. Then fluff with a fork, and serve.
- You can use olive oil or butter or even skip if you want to make oil-free buckwheat.
- Make sure to not overcook, and take out the steel insert once the buckwheat (kasha) is cooked. This will help to not overcook the bottom later from the residual heat.
- Try to not mash while stirring. Fluff with a fork.
- You can also use broth to cook buckwheat if you prefer.
How to store?
You can store the cooked buckwheat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. You can also freeze in freezer safe bags and defrost before reheating.
You can reheat buckwheat in a pan or microwave. I prefer to reheat in the microwave. Cover with a wet paper towel to keep it moist.
How to serve?
Follow any of the cooking methods above to buckwheat ready for using it in many recipes.
- Porridge: Add some milk (dairy or non-dairy) along with the fruits of your choice plus nuts for a yummy porridge. You can add some more water and cook it a bit longer for a creamier porridge
- Make it as a pilaf with meat and your choice of veggies
- It can be used in a salad
- Use kasha as a replacement for rice or quinoa when making a pulav or biryani.
- Give it an Italian twist by using it as a risotto recipe.
Hope you enjoy this nutritious buckwheat in your everyday meals. Do share how it turned out!
More healthy grain recipes in the instant pot:
- How to cook sorghum?
- Millet Pongal
- Instant Pot Wild Rice
- Perfect 1-minute Quinoa
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Blend
Perfect Instant Pot Buckwheat
- Rinse the buckwheat by putting in a sieve, and rinse it under running water.
Instant Pot Method
- Add water and buckwheat to the pressure cooker. Add salt, and optionally some oil or butter. Close lid with vent in sealing position. Start the pressure cooker in MANUAL or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the pressure cooker beeps, do 10 minutes natural pressure release, which means release the pressure and open the lid 10 minutes after it beeps.
- Fluff with a fork. Then take the steel insert out of the instant pot, so that the bottom layer does not overcook. Buckwheat is ready to be served.
Pot-in-pot (PIP) method
- Add 1 cup water to the main steel insert of the pressure cooker and place trivet in the steel insert. Add water, buckwheat, salt and oil to a steel bowl. Place the bowl on the trivet. Close the lid of the pressure cooker with vent in sealing position. Set in pressure cook or manual mode for 8 minutes at high pressure. When the pressure cooker beeps, do 10 minutes natural pressure release, which means release the pressure and open the lid 10 minutes after it beeps.
- Add 2 cups water, 1 cup kasha, 1 teaspoon salt and 1-2 teaspoon oil to a pot. Set it on medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.Now lower the heat and cover with a lid. Cook for about 10 minutes. Then remove from heat.Let it rest for another 15-20 minutes. Then fluff with a fork, and serve.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
natural pressure release means that you don't "release pressure". when the instant pot stops the 5minutes it automatically starts to release the pressure. that's why it's saying "natural". manual release is when you twist it to force it to release.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Julia - You are right. There is also a terminology of "10 minutes NPR" which means let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then turn the knob to venting to release any remaining pressure. Hope that helps!
Sadly not perfect :(. I followed the directions to a T and the instantpot went in "burn" mode.
I followed the instructions exactly and it turned out mushy, not like individual grains like I've done in the past on the stove top. Not sure what I could have done wrong. I'm new to Instant Pot. Less pressure cook time? I did 5 minutes exactly and then set a timer for 10 minutes, released pressure after the 10 minutes and opened the pot to an oatmeal consistency. 😕
Meeta Arora says
Hi Kristy - Sorry that the consistency of the buckwheat was not as expected. I wonder if there could be variations with the brand of buckwheat or toasted/untoased. I would suggest to reduce the amount of water to 1:1 ratio for buckwheat to water, and see if that works better for you. I would try the same pressure cooking time. Would love to hear if that works better.