Fenugreek, contraindicationsand side effects. What it is, properties, use, how to cook and recommended recipe.
Fenugreek, what is it
Fenugreek is a plant that belongs to the same legume family. Although its name makes us think of themaize, can be considered a distant relative of lentils and peas.
Of thefenugreek seeds are consumed, a very common ingredient in South Asian cuisine.
Theraw hayit has been used in the kitchen since the dawn of time. Suffice it to say that charred seeds from prior to the Bronze Age were recovered in Iraq, approximately 4,000 years ago.
Thefenugreek, Trigonella foenum-fraecum is aplantannual of the Fabaceae family. It has small obovate leaves. Hercultivationit is also possible on semi-arid soils.
Despite its Asian origins, thecultivationof thefenugreekit is also widespread in Europe; among the major producing countries offenugreekwe point out Spain, France and Turkey. In the world, the largest cultivations of fenugreek are found in Pakistan, India, Iran, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Egypt and Morocco.
Fenugreek is very popular for its nutritional and beneficial properties. In cooking, not only seeds are used but also fresh leaves and sprouts. The green parts, dried and ground, are used as a spice, also used for the formulation of particular types of Indian curry.
In herbal medicine, the essential oil of fenugreek is widely used to counteract water retention, fight cellulite and strengthen hair. The active ingredient responsible for the characteristic odor offenugreekit is called Sotolone.
For all uses in the kitchen and the nutritional properties of fenugreek, please refer to the page dedicated to nutritional values and beneficial properties: fenugreek.
Contraindications and allergies
Some people are allergic to fenugreek, before consuming it you need to make sure you are not prone to allergies. Typically, those who are allergic to peanuts or allergic to chickpeas may also be allergic to fenugreek.
Fenugreek is contraindicated in diabetic patients. Its active ingredients can interfere with the activity of anti-diabetes drugs. Fenugreek has a hypoglycemic effect.
Others contraindicationsare linked to the presence of coumarins, these active ingredients contained in abundance infenugreek, could interfere with the activity and dosage of anticoagulant drugs and antiplatelet drugs.
The consumption offenugreek it is not recommended during pregnancy.
Fenugreek, side effects
Among side effects associated with a high use of fenugreek seeds are reported diarrhea, abdominal distension and flatulence. These symptoms are also related to the abundant intake of other legumes.
Raw hay: cooking and recipes
For thecooking fenugreek seedswe recommend an excellent recipe that sees the preparation of a dish based on fenugreek and potatoes. Here are the ingredients for 3 people:
- 2 tablespoons of clarified butter
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 400 gr. of potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
- fresh ground pepper
Heat the butter for a long time in a large pan. Heat until the butter shrinks.
Add finely chopped onion and crushed garlic which you will then remove. Add thefenugreek seeds.
Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Brown the potatoes as well.
At this point, if you prefer, you can add some spices (turmeric, ginger, chilli ..).
Add half a glass of water and cook until the potatoes are tender. Cooking will take about 20 minutes.
Stir from time to time and, if necessary, add more water. The final pact must be dry but not dry.
When cooked, remove the garlic, add the salt, stir once more and serve garnished with a sprinkling of parsley.
Fenugreek, where to buy it
Fenugreek seeds can be purchased in the best-stocked food shops or specialized in ethnic foods. Alternatively, you can take advantage of online trading. On Amazon, a pack of organic fenugreek is offered at a price of 5.99 euros with free shipping costs.
Regardless of where you go to buy it, we recommend buying organic fenugreek also in view of past food scandals.
In 2006, a batch of fenugreek was imported to Germany from Egypt. That batch caused an outbreak of Eschierichia coli infections. Organic products do not save us from food contamination but, being more traceable, they are also safer.