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Dill is either a perennial or annual herb. Dill is a unique plant in that both its leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning. Dill's green leaves are wispy and fernlike and have a soft, sweet taste. Dried dill seeds are light brown in color and oval in shape, featuring one flat side and one convex ridged side. The seeds are similar in taste to caraway, featuring a flavor that is aromatic, sweet and citrusy, but also slightly bitter.

Dill is easy to grow and though we have gotten away from kitchen gardens one can easily grow a pot of it on their patio as long as it is in a sunny location and just remember to water it once in awhile.

Culinary use

1. Fresh and dried dill leaves are widely used as herbs in Europe and central Asia.

2. Like caraway, the fernlike leaves of dill are aromatic and are used to flavor many foods such as gravlax (cured salmon) and other fish dishes, borscht and other soups, as well as 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 retain their flavor relatively well for a few months.

3. Dill seed, having a flavor similar to caraway but also resembling that of fresh or dried dill weed, is used as a spice. Dill oil is extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant. The oil from the seeds is distilled and used in the manufacturing of soaps.

4. Dill is the eponymous ingredient in dill pickles: cucumbers preserved in salty brine and/or vinegar.

Health Benefits of Dill

It is also rich in many vital vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, ß-carotene, vitamin-C that is essential for optimum metabolism inside the human body.

The sprigs of the dill leaves and its seeds contain many essential volatile oils such as d-carvone, dillapiol, DHC, eugenol, limonene, terpinene and myristicin. The essential oil, Eugenol in the dill has been in therapeutic usage as local-anesthetic and anti-septic. Eugenol has also been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Further research suggests that Dill oil, extracted from dill seeds has anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, and disinfectant, galactagogue (helps breast milk secretion), and sedative properties.

Fresh dill herb is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin-C.

Many users of dill do not know that Dill weed is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. 

Read More at Wikipedia.
Recipes Using Dill.

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