Buckwheat Upma

One of the ubiquitous dishes in South India is Upma, usually made with rava, a semolina product. But it can be made with other grains, like millet, corn, poha, vermicelli and even cracked wheat. Today I am making it with buckwheat as I happened to have it in the cupboard. Buckwheat is particularly good for upma as it cooks to a creamy porridge-like consistency.

Upma is much loved, especially in Tamil Nadu, as a breakfast dish and as a tiffin. But really, it is very easy to make. The grain, usually rava, is cooked in a spice flavoured liquid until the desired consistency is reached. Some like it thin, some thick. Truly it is generally made in under 10 mins, although using buckwheat takes a little longer due to its cooking time.

Similar dishes include Fried Upma, Buckwheat Polenta, and Buckwheat Salad.

Browse all of our Upma recipes, and our Buckwheat dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

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Buckwheat and Broccolini Salad

I happily eat this buckwheat salad as is for a light lunch or snack. You know I love my salad snacks. It is lovely just on its own. Or it is great served with, say, some fritters, herby new potatoes and roasted beetroot. Yum.

This is an excellent dish for the cooler days of Summer and Autumn. The recipe is based on one from Ottolenghi’s Simple. He uses beans in the salad. After the devastating bushfires in Australia, fresh beans are difficult to source. Broccolini makes a great alternative. We cook a lot of Ottolenghi dishes but always feel free to use what is in our pantry, on our kitchen benches, in our garden, or available locally. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Some say buckwheat is an acquired taste. But I think of it as a creamy quinoa, and adore the flavour and texture. You will too. It has a slightly earthy and nutty flavour.

Similar dishes include Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta, Broccolini and Sweet Tahini, and Buckwheat Salad.

Browse all of our Buckwheat recipes and all of our Broccolini dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta and Tempura Lemon

Butternut Pumpkin features often in our Kitchen in Winter – roasted, in soups and mashed on its own or together with white beans or polenta, in risotto and salads, or in dals and curries. It was a joy to see that Ottolenghi uses it too, of course he does, so another recipe was completed for our project of cooking his books.

This is not a difficult dish, but it does take about 90 mins to bring it together. The pumpkin is baked, polenta is make, tempura batter is made and rested for 45 mins, the lemons are cooked, and then it all comes together. The lemon of the tempura is divine! It is exactly what the dish needs – without the warm, lemony flavours of the flesh and rind the dish falls flat. It reinforces the fact that Ottolenghi’s dishes are meant for all the ingredients to be eaten together. If, for example, there is polenta left over, add lemon juice or other tart ingredients to balance it out. Likewise the garlic that is cooked with the pumpkin – the smoky earthy flavours of the garlic are absolutely essential to the final dish.

This dish is from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Buckwheat and Broccolini Salad, Polenta Chips with Charred Tomato Sauce, Polenta Crisps with Avocado and Yoghurt, Caramelised Pumpkin and Peter’s Wet Polenta and Tomato Layers.

Browse all of our Pumpkin dishes and all of our Polenta recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes. Continue reading “Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta and Tempura Lemon”

Buckwheat

I recently cooked with buckwheat for the firs time, so I explored how buckwheat has been used around the world. Thanks to Wikipedia for most of the information.

Buckwheat has played an important role in diets around the world, mainly in Asia and Eastern Europe for around 8,000 years. It is neither a grain popular with bucks or a relative of wheat, but rather, its seeds so closely resemble the much larger seeds of the beech tree that the plant has been called “beech wheat,” or buckwheat, ever since.

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Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

A perfect spring or summer salad with a healthy grain and tastes of sunshine.

Such a healthy salad with the tastes of the sun. Buckwheat is new to me, so I relished this opportunity to cook with it.

While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel, making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein gluten. Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavored, dark honey.

You can read more about buckwheat here.

You might also like to try Buckwheat and Broccolini Salad Beetroot and Honey Salad, Charred Tomato Salad, Tomato and Peach Salad, and Carrot and Blueberry Salad.

All of our Salads are here and our Buckwheat dishes here.

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