Monday, November 2, 2020


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A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by preparing kasha and bow ties; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:

  1. Peel an onion and chop it using a food processor.
  2. Prepare bouillon.
  3. Cook and drain pasta.
  4. Measure and combine ingredients.
  5. Combine kasha with eggs and brown the kasha in a pan.
  6. Simmer the mixture until it is done.

B. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of the background and tradition of kasha and bow ties by completing the final Sample Test.



1. No preparation of food is needed before beginning this lesson; however, it is a good idea to start water boiling for the noodles and bouillon before class.

2. The work is divided between two groups and ideally should work out in such a way that when Group 1 has the onions fried to the proper stage, Group 2 has the kasha ready to go into the pan.

3. When the kasha is browned, the bouillon should be ready to go into it.

4. During the 20 minutes while the bow tie noodles are boiling, the kasha should be cooking so that both finish together and can be combined and served.


1. A little more or less onion will not significantly affect the recipe.

2. The bouillon cubes can be crushed before adding to the boiling water, or they can be dropped in first, allowed to soften somewhat, and then mashed with the back of a wooden spoon.

3. Browning kasha can be a little tricky since it is brown to start with. When the grains look well cooked and dry and separate easily rather then clumping together from the egg, the bouillon can be added.

4. The bouillon should be added carefully as it will sizzle when it first contacts the hot pan.

5. Use a wooden spoon or silicon spatula to stir the kasha and bow ties together as a metal spoon tends to break up the noodles.

6. Check the kasha midway through the cooking process to make sure it is simmering and has not stuck to the bottom of the pan.


A. If most of your students are from an Ashkenazic background, they very often are familiar with this dish as something that only their bubbies make, and they usually either love it or they hate it. Ask about variations that are traditional in their families. What types of main courses are kasha and bow ties served with in their families?

B. Another place where your students might have tasted this dish is at a Jewish summer camp. Encourage them to taste the kasha and bow ties they have prepared in the classroom even if they think they won 't like it, because often, in institutional settings, things do not taste the same as when they are homemade and fresh.

  • 1 large onion
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 box coarse kasha
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 2 chicken bouillion cubes
  • 1 1-lb. bag bow-tie shaped noodles
  • food processor
  • 6 qt. meat pot for cooking kasha
  • 2 qt. meat pot for boiling water bouillion
  • 8 qt. meat pot for boiling noodles
  • measuring cups
  • large mixing spoons
  • colander
  • large spoons
  • small mixing bowls
  • small fork


    “Although the word ‘kasha’ can be used for almost any cereal, to Russian and Polish Jews it almost invariably means toasted buckwheat groats. Buckwheat (which, botanically, is not a grain, but a type of herb) is an extremely hearty plant that prefers a cool climate. Therefore, kasha was relatively plentiful in the shtetls of Eastern Europe, and it was eaten daily. Imaginative cooks used it in every possible dish, including porridge, knishes, kreplah, blintzes, strudel, and cholent.
    “A side dish called kasha varnishkes was often served on Hanukkah and other holidays. It is still a favorite of many Ashkenazic Jews… As a bonus, kasha is very nutritious, with generous amounts of protein, iron, B vitamins, and fiber.”8
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 4 T. vegetable oil or chicken fat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 box coarse kasha (buckwheat groats)
  • 1/2 stick margarine
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 1-lb. bag bow-tie shaped noodles
Group 1
1. Peel and chop onion in food processor.

2. Heat oil in pan and sauté onions on medium heat until soft and translucent.

3. Boil 4-1/4 cups water and dissolve bouillon cubes.

4. Fill a large pot about 3/4 full with water. Bring to a boil. Pour in bow tie noodles and cook according to package directions. (About 20 minutes)

5. Start cleaning up.

6. When noodles are cooked, drain and stir carefully into kasha.

Group 2

1. Beat eggs lightly with a fork.

2. Pour kasha into a small bowl. Add eggs and mix together.

3. Add kasha mixture to fried onions in pan and sauté on moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until grains begin to turn a darker brown and are separate, about 5 minutes.

4. Add 4 cups bouillon prepared by Group 1 slowly.

5. Turn heat to simmer and add 1/2 stick margarine.

6. Stir, cover, and allow to simmer 20 minutes.

7. While kasha is cooking, start cleaning up.

    Kasha varnishkes can be finished and put in a baking pan to be frozen. When ready to use, defrost and warm, gently, covered in 350-degree oven. 

8Text from Gloria Kaufer Greene, The Jewish Holiday Cookbook: An International Collection of Recipes and Customs (Published in the United States by Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1985), p. 178.

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