Organic Dill Seed
Dill seed, or Anethum graveolens, is often thought of by Americans as a dill pickle spice.
Dill seed has anywhere from 1% to 4% essential oil, which is pale yellow to light brown in color and contains mostly dillapiole or carvone, depending on where it is grown. If it is grown in Europe it will contain more dillapiole, if it is grown in India, it will contain more carvone.
It is called "shabath" in Arabic, "shih-lo" in Mandarin, "aneth odorant" in French, "dill" in German, "suwa" or "suwa patta" in Hindi, "diru" in Japanese, "endro" in Portuguese, "ukrop" in Russian, and "eneldo" in Spanish. Dill seed also has the interesting name of "grasshopper's eye" in some Arab countries.
History of Dill Seed
The word "dill" comes from the Norse language, whose "dylla" meant to lull or soothe. During the Middle Ages, dill seed was used in witchcraft and magical practices because it was believed to help make love potions more effective. It was also considered a natural aphrodisiac at that time. Weirdly enough, it was also used by those who found witchcraft an abhorrent practice to be a charm against witchcraft. Such people would keep dill seeds on their person and in their homes to ward off the spells of any witches in the area. Dill seed could also be brewed into a drink and ingested, also in an effort to ward off witchcraft.
In ancient Greece, dill was used as a symbol of wealth. It was hard to get a hold of, much like other spices of the time, so only the wealthiest of individuals had access to it. Ancient Romans believed that dill would bring wealth and great fortune and would use dill weed in wreaths given to star athletes and war heroes. Ancient Egyptians would use it as an aphrodisiac and as a soothing medicine.
During Colonial times in the early years of the United States, dill seeds were given to children to chew during church services. They were called "meetinghouse seeds" colloquially because of this. Dill weed was also hung over baby cradles to signify protection, love, and warmth, and was meant keep harm from befalling the baby. Dill may have also been sewn into pillows that were left in the cradle for the same kind of protection, or to help the babies sleep.
Pickles have been around for a very long time, but no one is quite sure as to where the first recipe for using dill in pickled foods originated. There are recipes from the 1600s that call for dill in pickling recipes, but there is no written proof of dill being used before then. Still, dill pickles are one of the most common varieties here in the United States, with citizens consuming over 2.5 billion pounds of pickles per year. That averages out to about 9 pounds of pickles per person per year.
Organic Dill Seed Cultivation
Dill needs lots of direct sunlight to grow high yields, as even a little shade will harm the plant's growth. It thrives in hot weather, with organically rich soil that ranges from 60 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit being the most suitable. It is a plant that likes its space, and it grows quickly, with sprouts appearing after about 12 days. It is however, susceptible to fungal leaf and root diseases.
In home gardens, dill is often used as a companion plant for cucumbers and broccoli because it attracts many beneficial insects for these plants.
Where is it from?
Our Organic Dill Seed is grown in India.
Cooking with Dill Seed
Dill seeds can be roasted, fried, or used in broths, they don't have to be ground to use them in recipes. Since they have a large surface area, they plump up a bit while cooking and get a bit of a toothy bite to them. Adding them at the beginning of cooking will give you a fuller flavor while adding them towards the end of cooking will retain the pungency naturally found in the seeds.
Dill is excellent with acidic flavors like lemon or lime. It also works well with vinegar and plays nicely in pickling recipes. The Indian dish Dal has dill seed in the ingredients list. Dill seeds are part of the classic Russian meal, Borscht. In Scandinavian cuisine, these seeds are added to breads and cakes.
Overly rich flavors can be subdued with dill seed, while it can also help mask unusual flavors that come with things like gamey meat or cabbage. It's good with onion, pine nuts, fish-based dishes, spinach, and lamb. When used with other spices, dill seed works well with cumin, chili powders, paprika, white pepper, and turmeric.
A recipe that we love that includes dill seed is Herb Crusted Tilapia.
Whole vs. Ground
Dill seed can be used either whole or ground. It loses flavor quickly once it has been ground, so grind it as you need it. Store your dill seed or your ground dill seed in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
What Does Dill Seed Taste Like?
Dill seed tastes clean, pungent, and slightly anise-y. It has a bit of a bite and a sweet aroma that is reminiscent of sweet caraway.
Substitutions and Conversions
Caraway seeds or celery seeds work as a substitute for dill seed in several applications. They can be replaced in a 1 to 1 ratio, so if the recipe calls for a teaspoon of dill seed, use a teaspoon of the substitute in place for a close flavor match.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*