Kasha is a staple dish in Russian cuisine. Joining the worldwide reputation of borscht, caviar and blini, Russian kasha is one of oldest authentic Russian foods. Simple and seemingly unremarkable, pumpkin kasha stands at the crux of ancient Russian culinary arts and cultural.

For centuries, kasha was the central dish at ceremonial feasts, wedding receptions and birth celebrations. It’s nutritious and filling, not to mention goes a long way when you need to feed many people. The very word “kasha” was even used to name feasts back in the 14th century. Kasha literally and ritually brought people closer together. Russian kasha was even used to make peace in the days of tribal living. As a sign of peace, elders cooked kasha and ate it from the same pot. Back then, to “cook kasha” meant not just the act of cooking … it was the effort of working together and building lasting relationships.

Modern chefs across Russian have rejuvenated the authentic Russian dish and kasha can be found on the menus of some of the most prestigious (read- expensive!) restaurants in the country.

In authentic Russian cooking, kasha refers to any type of porridge. At its base, kasha is any cereal or grain boiled in salted water or milk. In the old days wheat, barley, rye and oats were used to make kasha, later joined by rice and buckwheat.

Pumpkin spiced kasha is particularly popular for its sweet and earthy flavors. Pumpkin, and its close cousin butternut squash, add a delicious dimension to rice kasha. Add cinnamon and nutmeg for richer flavor and aroma and you’ve got a pumpkin spice kasha!

Here’s all you’ll need to make this scrumptious winter dish.


Makes 3 servings | Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 65 minutes

  • 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk (or half & half)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Dash of cinnamon and nutmeg


  • Peel and clean pumpkin, removing all seeds. Cut pumpkin into one inch cubes.

  • Place pumpkin pieces into a large pot, add water and boil until pumpkin is tender.

  • Add milk or half & half, spices and rice and let simmer for 40 min, covered on medium heat.
  • Mix well and add raisins.
  • Serve hot

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You’ll find authentic ingredients for any Russian dish at RussianFoodUSA.com.