Peucedanum graveolens (L.) C. B. Clarke
Dill grows to 40–60 cm (16–24 in), with slender stems and alternate, finely divided, softly delicate leaves 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long. The ultimate leaf divisions are 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) broad, slightly broader than the similar leaves of fennel, which are threadlike, less than 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, but harder in texture. The flowers are white to yellow, in small umbels 2–9 cm (0.79–3.5 in) diameter. The seeds are 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) thick, and straight to slightly curved with a longitudinally ridged surface.
Origins and history
Dill originated within an area around the Mediterranean and the South of Russia. Zohary and Hopf remark, "wild and weedy types of dill are widespread in the Mediterranean basin and in West Asia." Although several twigs of dill were found in the tomb of Amenhotep II, they reported the earliest archeological evidence for its cultivation comes from late Neolithic lakeshore settlements in Switzerland. Traces have been found in Roman ruins in Great Britain.
The name "dill" comes from Old English dile, thought to have originated from a Norse or Anglo-Saxon word dylle, meaning "to soothe or lull," the plant having the carminative property of relieving gas.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||180 kJ (43 kcal)|
|- Dietary fiber||2.1 g|
|Vitamin A||7717 (154%) IU|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||0.1 mg (9%)|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.3 mg (25%)|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||1.6 mg (11%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.4 mg (8%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg (15%)|
|Folate (vit. B9)||150 μg (38%)|
|Vitamin B12||0 μg (0%)|
|Vitamin C||85 mg (102%)|
|Calcium||208 mg (21%)|
|Iron||6.6 mg (51%)|
|Magnesium||55 mg (15%)|
|Manganese||1.3 mg (62%)|
|Phosphorus||66 mg (9%)|
|Potassium||738 mg (16%)|
|Sodium||61 mg (4%)|
|Zinc||0.9 mg (9%)|
|Copper||0.14 mg (7%)|
|Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Fresh and dried dill leaves (sometimes called "dill weed" to distinguish it from dill seed) are used as herbs, mainly in Germany, Poland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Baltic, in Russia, and in central Asia.
Like caraway, its fernlike leaves are aromatic and are used to flavor many foods, such as gravlax (cured salmon), borscht and other soups, and pickles (where the dill flower is sometimes used). Dill is best when used fresh, as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried; however, freeze-dried dill leaves preserve their flavor relatively well for a few months.
Dill seed is used as a spice, with a flavor somewhat similar to caraway, but also resembling that of fresh or dried dill weed. Dill oil can be extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant. The oil from the seeds is distilled and used in manufacturing of soaps. 
In Poland, where dill is called 'koper', it is one of the most popular herbs used in the kitchen, along with parsley and chives, used for various purposes. Fresh, finely cut dill leaves are used as topping to vartious soups, especially the hot red borsht and the cold borsth mixed with curds, kefir, yoghurt, or sour cream, which is served during hot Summer and is called 'chłodnik' ("cooler"). It is also popular in Summer to drink the fermented milk (curds, kefir, yoghurt, or butter milk) mixed with finely cut dill (and sometimes other herbs). The same way prepared dill is used as a topping for water cooked potatoes covered with fresh butter - especially in Summer time when there are the so-called 'new' potatoes (potatoes are still young). The dill leaves can be mixed with butter beforehand, making it a dill butter, which can serve the same purpose. Dill leaves mised with fresh cottage cheese (or hard white cheese 'twaróg' mixed with cream) form one of the traditional cheese spreads used for sandwiches. Fresh dill leaves are used all year round as an ingredient for making fresh salads, e.g. made of lettuce, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, same as basil leaves are used in Italy and Greece. Fresh dill leaves mixed with sour cream are the basis for dressings, and it is especially popular to use this kind of sauce with freshly cut cucumbers, which practically are wholly immersed in the sauce, making thus a salad called 'mizeria'. The dill leaves serve as a basis for cooking dill sauce, used hot for baked fresh water fish and for chicken or turkey breast, or used hot or cold for hard boiled eggs (depending on the temperature of the eggs served). In south-eastern Poland it is popular to cook a dill-based soup (zupa koperkowa), served with potatoes and hard boiled eggs. Whole stems including roots and flower buds are traditionally used to prepare Polish style pickled cucumbers (ogórki kiszone), especially the so-called low-salted cucumbers ('ogórki małosolne'). Whole stems of dill (even including the roots) are also used to be cooked with potatoes (especially the 'late' potatoes of Autumn and Winter), to make them resemble in flavor those 'new' potatoes of Summer time. Some kinds of fish, especially trout and salmon, are also traditionally baked with stems and leaves of dill. Dill seeds are added to cooking some heavy dishes, especially made of cabbage and fat meats, as a gas relieving herb, same as caraway or fennel seeds. NB. The Polish name 'koper' covers also fennel ('koper włoski', lit. 'Italian dill'), but fennel is never used for all these purposes mentioned above, except for the last one (it's seed are added to some 'heavy' dishes). Out of the three kinds of seeds mentioned, however, only fennel seeds are considered to be a 'real' medical plant, so infusion made of these seeds alone is served to babies suffering from gases.
In Romania dill (mărar) is used on a national scale as an ingredient for soups such as borscht, pickles and other dishes, especially those based on peas, beans and cabbage. It is also popular for dishes based on potatoes and mushrooms, and can be found in a lot of summer salads (especially cucumber salad, cabbage salad and lettuce salad). During springtime, it is used together with spring onions in omelettes. It usually complements sauces based on sour cream or yogurt. It is often mixed with salted cheese and used as a filling. Another popular dish with dill as a base ingredient is the dill sauce, which is served with eggs and fried sausages.
In Hungary dill is very widely used. It is popular as a sauce or filling, especially in Langos, and mixed with a type of cottage cheese. Dill is also used for pickling and in salads. The Hungarian name for dill is kapor.
In Serbia, dill is known as mirodjija and is used as an addition to soups, potato and cucumber salads and French fries. It also features in the Serbian proverb "бити мирођија у свакој чорби" /biti mirodjija u svakoj čorbi/ (to be a dill in every soup) which corresponds to the English proverb "to have a finger in every pie".
In Santa Maria, Azores, dill (endro) is the most important ingredient of the traditional Holy Ghost soup (sopas do Espírito Santo). Dill is found practically anywhere in Santa Maria, and curiously rare in the other Azorean Islands.
In Canada, dill is a favourite herb to accompany poached salmon.
In Arab countries, dill seed, called ain jaradeh (grasshopper's eye), is used as a spice in cold dishes such as fattoush and pickles. In Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, dill is called shibint and is used mostly in fish dishes.
In India, dill is known as shepu (शेपू) in Marathi and Konkani, savaa or menthulu in Hindi or soa in Punjabi. In Telugu, it is called methulu and Methi-kura (for herb greens). It is also called sabbasige soppu (ಸಬ್ಬಸಿಗೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು) in Kannada. In Tamil it is known as sada kuppi(சதகுப்பி). In Malayalam, it is ചതകുപ്പ(chathakuppa )or ശതകുപ്പ(sathakuppa). In Sanskrit, this herb is called shatapushpa. In Gujrati, it is known as suva. In India, dill is prepared in the manner of yellow moong dal as a main-course dish. It is considered to have very good antigas properties,so it is used as mukhwas, or an after-meal digestive. It is also traditionally given to mothers immediately after childbirth. In the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, a smaller amount of fresh dill is mainly cooked along with cut potatoes and fresh fenugreek leaves(Hindi आलू-मेथी-सोया). In Manipur, dill locally known as pakhon is an essential ingredient of chagem pomba – a traditional Manipuri dish with fermented soybean and rice.
In Laos and parts of northern Thailand, dill is known in English as Lao coriander (Lao: ຜັກຊີ, Thai: ผักชีลาว). In the Lao language, it is called phak see, and in Thai, it is known as phak chee Lao. In Lao cuisine, Lao coriander is used extensively in traditional Lao dishes such as mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaf) and several coconut milk-based curries that contain fish or prawns.
In Vietnam, the use of dill in cooking is regional, specifically northern Vietnamese cuisine.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)|
In Anglo-Saxon England, as prescribed in Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England (also called Læceboc) (many of whose recipes were borrowed from Greek medicinal texts), dill was used in many traditional medicines, including medicines against jaundice, headache, boils, lack of appetite, stomach problems, nausea, liver problems, and much more. Dill seeds can also be used to prepare herbal tea.
In India the leaves are used to prepare, similar to the that of other greens, a variety of local dishes which serves as an accompaniment to rotis or chappathis.
Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially. It also prefers rich, well drained soil. The seeds are viable for three to 10 years..
The seed is harvested by cutting the flower heads off the stalks when the seed is beginning to ripen. The seed heads are placed upside down in a paper bag and left in a warm, dry place for a week. The seeds then separate from the stems easily for storage in an airtight container.
When used as a companion planting, dill draws in many beneficial insects as the umbrella flower heads go to seed. Fittingly, it makes a good companion plant for cucumbers. It is a poor companion for carrots and tomatoes.
- Antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus
- Antimicrobial activity against Saccharomyces cerevisiae
|This section requires expansion. (July 2009)|
- Dill Profile
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Anethum graveolens|
- Indian Spices names
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- The Self-Sufficient Gardener Episode 17 My Favorite Herbs - Dill