The Lowdown: Dill Seed vs Dill Weed
One great flavor to use if you are looking to add a hint of freshness into your dish is dill. Dill often comes in two types – dill weed (which uses the leaves) and dill seed. Because of this, dill is available in both herb form and spice form. No spice collection will ever be complete without either types of dill, because this popular ingredient is very much present in a host of cuisines that are well-loved the world over.
Dill is a relative of caraway, anise, coriander, parsley, and carrots - all part of the apiaceae family. Dill seeds taste very similar to caraway, though slightly milder.
Ever wondered what the different is between these two types of dill? Here is a quick run through of what you need to know to become a certified dill expert!
The Taste Difference
Despite coming from the same plant, dill weed and dill seeds have some slight discrepancies in terms of flavor. The overall taste is pretty much similar, but the slight differences will determine which variant to use in a particular dish. For one, dill leaves have a flavor that resembles the lemony notes of anise and parsley. While this is also somewhat detectable in dill seeds, this version also carries some notes that are similar to caraway.
A lot of chefs consider dill seed to have a more pungent flavor, too. They are said to give off a slightly bitter taste, which brings to mind the same flavor note as camphor. They also give off a stronger flavor when heated, which makes them perfect for dishes that require a more intense taste. Meanwhile, dill leaves tend to have a more delicate flavor compared to the seed variety.
Subbing One for the Other These few flavor differences will mean that substituting one for the other is not automatic nor ideal. However, such a decision might be considered if you really have limited options and alternatives. It is important to note that you need to measure out different amounts of either when subbing. For example, three whole heads of dill weed will be equal to just one tablespoon of dill seeds.
It is also good to know that seeds are more able to withstand an extended cooking time compared to leaves. If subbing dill weed for dill seeds, you’d best add them when you are just about nearing the end of your cooking time to really lock in the flavor!
Cooking: Dill Seed vs. Dill Weed
Both dill variants are used in a number of ways in kitchens across the globe. In Northern America, dill seed is often used as the main flavoring ingredient in making dill pickle. In countries like Indian, Scandinavia and some Eastern European nations, dill seeds are the ideal option for acidic dishes such as pickled carrots, beets, and fish. It is also a nice touch to a lentil dal dish and other types of recipes that make use of legumes.
Meanwhile fresh dill weed works as a good complement to fish dishes but can really steal the show when added to your favorite potato salad recipe. It also pairs well with legumes like dill seed, but its use can also be extended to dips and coleslaws. Together, both dill seeds and dill leaves give vinegars and salad dressings that extra oomph of freshness when used together.