Dill Seeds, Anethum sowa, are also called Indian Dill, American Dill and European Dill (also referred to as true dill Anethum graveolens). Alternative spellings are dil seeds and dillseed.
Dill Seeds have 2.5% to 4% volatile oil.
What are Dill Seeds
Dill Seed is not technically a seed, but the whole fruits of the herb. The seeds are straight to slightly curved with a ridged surface that runs the length of the seed and their shape is flat and oval while their color is tan or light brown. The seeds are just under .2 inches in length and .04 inches thick. Although part of the same plant, Dill Seed and Dill Weed have such different flavor profiles that chefs and experienced home cooks would never substitute one for the other! Dill weed refers to the leaf and stem of the plant.
Dill Seeds are used whole, crushed or ground. In this country Indian Dill Seed is used in breads, cheeses, condiments, pickles, salad dressings, and sausages.
What do Dill Seeds Taste Like
Dill Seed's flavor is clean and pungent with anise undertones and a slight bite. The aroma is reminiscent of sweet caraway.
What is Dill Seed Good For
The French and the Italians are not big fans of dill seed, as they tend to prefer fennel in their cooking. Dill seed has a much better reputation in German, Indian, Russian and Scandinavian cuisine.
Dill seeds are popular in Indonesian and Malaysian meat dishes, are used in condiments in Asia and in breads in Sweden. In the US, they are most frequently used in pickling. In Northern India, Dill Seed is used in bean, lentil, and other vegetable dishes. While Dill Seed and Dill Weed are used in completely different ways, they also sometimes are paired together most notably in pickling, salad dressings, sauces and vinegars.
One of our favorite recipes using dill seed is this rich, chewy but surprisingly light Dill Focaccia Bread.
Dill Seed is good with bread, cabbage, onions, potatoes, vinegar, and pumpkin and can also be sprinkled over casseroles before baking.
Works well in combination with chili powder, coriander seed, cumin, garlic, ginger, mustard seed and turmeric.
Dill Seed Substitution
History of Dill Seeds
Dill's origin remains uncertain, although it is probably south Eurasia1 (corresponds roughly with North Africa and the Greater Arabian Peninsula). While it is not known when dill was first domesticated, the oldest remains of dill have been found in late Neolithic lake shore settlements in Switzerland, which suggests that dill was either wild harvested or under cultivation 4,000 years ago2. Dill Seeds were found in the Egyptian tomb of the Pharaoh Amenhotep II dating back to 1400 BC3. The earliest recordings of dill can be found in the writings of the Greek botanist Theophrastus from 325 BC3.
While pickles have been around for centuries, no one knows for sure when dill was first used as an essential flavoring. The earliest recipe dates back to 1640 from Joseph Cooper, the cook to England's King Charles I, which called for dill to be added to pickled cucumbers4. Dill pickles are the most popular variety of pickle in America5.
Commercially Dill Seed is grown primarily in India and Pakistan, but Egypt, England, Fiji, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United States also have viable commercial production6. European Dill (Anetheum graveolens) is indigenous to Eurasia and is cultivated in England, Germany, Romania, Turkey, USA and Russia. Indian Dill Seed (Anetheum sowa) is native of Northern India and is bolder than the European dill7.
Dill grows best when the temperature is consistently between 50° – 80°F. The seeds are sowed directly in the ground between early from April and late May, once the threat of frost has passed. Dill does not do well with root disturbance and so is rarely transplanted as it will quickly deteriorate. Indian Dill Seed is drought tolerant and its flavor actually increases when it is allowed to grow being slightly “thirsty”. Dill matures approximately 90 days after seeding. Once the flowers form, they will bloom and seed, the seed heads should be cut 2 to 3 weeks after blooming. The seed heads are placed in paper or plastic bags, and allowed to dry; the seeds fall off when they are ready8.
Where is Our Dill Seeds From
|Also Called||Indian Dill, American Dill and European Dill|
|Recommended Uses||Use in breads, cheeses, condiments, pickles, salad dressings, and sausages|
|Flavor Profile||Clean and pungent with anise undertones and a slight bite|
|Oil Content||2.5% to 4%|
|Botanical Name||Anethum sowa|
|Cuisine||German, Indonesian, Indian, Malaysian and Scandinavian|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||1-2 years|
|Country of Origin||India|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
Hungry for More Information
1 Anethum graveolens (dill). (2019, November 20). CABI. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
2 Cumo, C. M. (2013). Encyclopedia of Cultivated Plants: From Acacia to Zinnia [3 Volumes]: From Acacia to Zinnia. ABC-CLIO.
3 Nesbitt, M., & Prance, G. T. (2005). The Cultural History of Plants. Routledge.
4 Grieve, M. (2015). A Modern Herbal (Volume 1, A-H): The Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-Lore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs & Trees with Their Modern Scientific Uses. Stone Basin Books.
5 Pickle And Pickled Pepper Fact Sheet – Pickle Packers International. (n.d.). ILovePickles.Org. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
6 Simon, J. E., Chadwick, A. F., & Craker, L. E. (1984). Herbs: An Indexed Bibliography 1971–1980 the Scientific Literature on Selected Herbs, and Aromatic and Medicinal Plants of the Temperate Zone (First Edition). Archon Books.
7 Dill | Spices Board. (2022, January 5). Spices Board India. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
8 Dill(sowa) Cultivation. (2018, August 31). Agri Learner. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*