Spices are aromatic or pungent vegetable ingredients used to flavor food. We use spices to enhance our dishes’ flavor, color, and palatability in our day-to-day life.
This article shall look at dill weed and dill seed as spices used in food preparation.
Dill is a spice plant that has been cultivated in Asia for many centuries. It has also become popular in Europe for many years, and with the ever-globalization, dill is popular in many other countries and recipes around the world.
Both the leaves and seeds of the dill plant are used ingredients in the preparation of food. The leaves are called dill weed, while the seeds are known as dill seeds. However, they come from the same plant; dill weed and dill seed offer unique tastes and have different uses.
Dill is related to parsley, coriander, caraway, anise, and carrots popularly used in the culinary world. Dill is not only a spice ingredient but also health-giving food. It is rich in vitamin A and contains trace minerals.
As I mentioned earlier, dill weed and seed come from the same plant, but they are different. This article will highlight the differences between dill weed and dill seed and how they are incorporated in meals. Below are some of the differences in taste, use, and storage.
Both dill weed and seed are popular in European and Asian cuisines. Dill weed can be used in its fresh or dried state, but it is mainly used while fresh. A small addition of dill weed to your dish can make a lot of difference. Fresh dill weed is an excellent choice for salads, eggs, or mixing with cheese, and you can also mix dill weed with yogurt to make a great salad dressing.
Dill weed usage is quite versatile, and you can comfortably use it to flavor seafood recipes, dips, soups, sauces, and stew. In addition, its freshness makes it an excellent option for vegetable salads recipes like ranch dressing.
On the other hand, dill seed can be used whole or ground into powder, and it can even be used as a seasoning in place of salt. You can use it to season deviled eggs, casseroles, and poultry dishes. Dill seed also goes well with sausages, cabbage, and potatoes; it is also used in baking bread.
Most recipes that require you to add dill seed will suggest that you toast it in a frying pan or microwave before adding it to the recipe. The toasting will help to bring out the flavor. Although Dill seeds are very famous for their use in pickling, most pickling recipes use them because of their unique flavor. In addition, dried dill seeds add a punch to other spices such as cumin, ginger, mustard, turmeric, and chilies.
Dill seed can be stored for a more extended period than dill weed because of its dry quality. If you grow dill in your garden, you can easily harvest and preserve them. You first have to separate the seeds from the stem, check for bad seeds or dirt, and store them in an air-tight container.
The air-tight container, which should be kept away from direct sunlight, protects the seeds from air, which can water down their taste. When stored this way, you can use the seeds even after six months, and they will still retain the original taste.
On the other hand, dill weed cannot be stored for a very long time, and in fact, fresh dill weed requires to be kept in the fridge to stay fresh. You can store it in the freezer for up to two months, but nothing more than that.
If you are purchasing dill weed from the grocery store, buy the ones with unwilted leaves and fresh-cut stems. Dill weed leaves are delicate, and if mishandled, they bruise and wilt quickly. So you need to use them immediately after purchasing them or store them in the fridge to maintain their freshness.
Like most leafy vegetables and spices, you can also dry dill weed to give it a longer life span. The only disadvantage with drying the leaves is that they will lose their intense flavor. Dried dill leaves are weaker in taste than fresh ones.
Dill seed has a pleasant aroma that is quite different from dill weed. Its aromatic flavor has hints of caraway and anise flavors. Dill seed’s flavor gets stronger as you cook it; that is why most recipes request you toast the seeds before adding them to the dish.
If you are familiar with this spice, you will notice that the longer you cook it, the better the flavor will be in the dish. It is advisable to use these seeds in small quantities; they might end up overshadowing the taste of other spices in the food when used in large quantities.
Dill weed has a sweet flavor, and it tastes similar to a mix of parsley, lemon, and anise; it has a lighter herb-like aroma. Although the flavor of dill weed is not as intense as dill seeds, it is recommended to use this as a spice for dishes with softer flavors.
Dill weed requires little time when adding it to your recipe. However, if you add dill weed leaves early while cooking, they might cook for a long time and lose their taste. So, It is advisable to add dill weed towards the end of cooking to retain its aroma and flavor.
One might ask if it is okay to substitute one for the other while preparing a dish. Well, it is advisable not to substitute dill weed for dill seed or vise versa. They both have unique flavors, so it is advisable to stick to the one prescribed by the recipe you are using.
Health Benefits of Consuming Dill
- Dill weed has cholesterol-reducing properties, and you can use it if you are interested in reducing your cholesterol levels.
- You can also use dill weed as a remedy for treating depression. It contains analgesic and antidepressant properties that are helpful for those undergoing depression.
- Dill weed also has properties that can help to repel bugs, insects, and mites.
- Frequent consumption of dill provides some helpful fatty acids that aid digestion and act as a source of energy for the body.
- The property of monoterpene in dill acts as antioxidants that help expel free radicals harmful to the body.
What can I use in place of dill weed?
Dill weed has a unique flavor, so anything you substitute it with will make the dish have a noticeable difference in taste. Having that in mind, you can use parsley, basil, or tarragon.
Can dill weed be used for seasoning?
As a matter of fact, fresh dill weed is often added to seafood dishes, yogurt, sauces, vinegar, potato salad, fresh-baked loaves of bread, and soups. Dill weed can also be used as a garnish like parsley.
Can dill weed and seed be used together in a dish?
Like I stated earlier, they have different tastes and flavors, although they both come from the same plant. Therefore, it is advisable to use only one of them in the dish you intend to prepare.
Using dill in dishes gives you a flavor that will do wonders to the taste and aroma of your dish, and you will most definitely enjoy it. Therefore, it is crucial to know how and when to use both the weed or the seed.