Dill Seed (whole)
Dill is a delicate-looking annual herb with frond-like leaves which have an agreeable, refreshing, anise-like flavour. These filigree leaves are often seen garnishing seafood, especially smoked salmon.
Dill flavors mayonnaise, tartar sauces and salad dressings.
Dill seeds have a more robust flavour than the green tops and are used in pickles and chutneys, with vegetable dishes and in the exotic Moroccan spice blend, Ras el Hanout.
Try with shredded carrots, coriander and lemon and you will find the dill seed compliments the carrots' earthy sweetness.
Dill seed performs well in soups and braised dishes, especially with eggplant or vegetables like cabbage.
Certain chemical properties in dill are thought to help negate carcinogens from environmental pollution. Oil from dill leaves may have anti-bacterial benefits, and may support healthy immune function. It has been documented that dill seed has been used to help with throat discomfort and oral inflammation, as well as assist in enhancing breath.
Other chemical properties in dill seed may have a muscle relaxant and diuretic effect on the body and thus may help with sleep, as well as ease digestive discomforts, flatulence, and disorders associated with the kidneys and urinary tract. Dill is a good source of calcium, and supports strong bones and teeth. Dill seed and dill plant (green tips) have similar benefits.
Other Common Names
The Vikings cultivated a plant they called "dilla," or "soothing," as a remedy for colic in babies. The easy-to-grow dill weed has become an essential ingredient in cuisines around the world.
"Dill seed" actually isn't seed but the flat, oval, dark brown whole fruits of the herb. The term "dill weed" refers to the green leaves (and sometimes stems) of the plant. Dill seed and dill weed have different chemical compositions, different uses in cooking, and different applications in herbal healing.
Dill is a member of the apiaceae family, related to the likes of caraway, anise, chervil, coriander, parsley, carrots and they all share similar aromatic compounds.
Dill seeds are easily recognized by their wide, flat, tear-shaped pods with light brown borders and dark, oak-like centers. Sampled fresh, they taste like caraway, but with a lighter flavor reminiscent of dill weed.