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Dill is an herb in the parsley family. Both the fern-like leaves and the seed are used.[1]



Dill has bright green, feathery fronds (called dill weed/herb),[2][3] whose flavor is somewhat like parsley and anise.[2][4] After flowering, the plant also produces dill seeds, which are brown and ovular with a pronounced anise- or caraway-like flavor.[2][4][5] Overall, the seed has a stronger flavor than the weed.[6]

Selection and storage


When choosing fresh dill weed, look for bright green color without yellowing, wilting, or sliminess. It should be stored in the fridge, wrapped in a damp towel and sealed in an airtight container, for up to several days.[1][7] Alternatively, you can keep the stems in a glass with an inch or so of water.[7] Dried dill weed is available, but the flavor and aroma are more degraded.[3][7]

Dill seed keeps for much longer, with a shelf life of months at room temperature when kept in an airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture. Like with most spices, the flavor dissipates faster when ground.

Dill leaves (called dill weed) are used to flavor many foods, especially in Northern and Eastern Europe.[2][8] It is a popular herb used in various ways with fish, and it works well with creamy sauces and as a garnish.[1][3] When cooking with dill weed, you'll usually want to add it to your dish after removing from the heat to prevent flavor degradation.[2][7] However, some South Asian dals do use stewed dill, though the flavor lessens.[9]

Dill seed can be used much like caraway and fennel seeds, sprinkled over casseroles and breads, and in salad dressings. It is a main flavoring in dill pickles.[3][4]

Both the seeds and the leaves are commonly used to flavor cucumber pickles.




  1. a b c Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2012-04-11). The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-544-18603-3.
  2. a b c d e Labensky, Sarah R.; Hause, Alan M.; Martel, Priscilla (2018-01-18). On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-13-444190-0.
  3. a b c d Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (2014-09-26). Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-09183-9.
  4. a b c Friberg, Bo (2016-09-13). The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-46629-2.
  5. Farrimond, Dr Stuart (2018-11-06). The Science of Spice: Understand Flavor Connections and Revolutionize Your Cooking. National Geographic Books. ISBN 978-1-4654-7557-2.
  6. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) (2015-02-25). Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-92865-3.
  7. a b c d Thaler, Maximus; Safferstein, Dayna (2014-09). A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything. Quarry Books. ISBN 978-1-59253-928-4. {{cite book}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  9. "Spice Hunting: Dill Weed". Serious Eats. Retrieved 2024-06-09.