Bitter, yet also rather sweet and grassy, fenugreek seeds are hard, flat and brown. They are most commonly used to flavour Indian and Sri Lankan curries, but are also found in cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Fenugreek is very powerful - you need only six or eight seeds to flavour a main course for four people. It is also a cheap spice to buy and for this reason is often ground and used to add bulk to inferior brands of curry powder.
In India, fenugreek seeds are always fried in a little oil or roasted before use, but be careful not to brown them too much because if allowed to become bitter they can make a dish inedible.
Grind a tiny amount to sprinkle over vegetable side dishes. Fenugreek is usually used in conjunction with other spices, especially mustard seeds, and is a key ingredient of the famous Bengali spice powder panch phoron.
In Greek cooking they are eaten raw or boiled with honey. The seeds can also be sprouted for use in salads.