There are many differences between dill seeds and dill weeds despite both coming from the same plant. The dill seeds are the seeds and the dill weed are the leaves. Below are their differences in terms of taste, usage, and storage.
In terms of cooking time, dill weed does not need a lot of cooking time to enhance its flavor and aroma. If exposed to heat for up to two hours, its flavor and aroma can be difficult to tell from food. In contrast, dill seeds are heat tolerant. Therefore, they can withstand a longer cooking time than dill weed without losing their flavor or aroma. In fact, the longer you cook dill seeds, the better their flavor will be expressed.
This spice plant is said to be related to plants such as parsley, coriander, caraway, anise, and carrots. It is famous as a spice ingredient and as a health-giving food because it is rich in vitamins and trace minerals. It is also famous in Asia as a traditional medicine for cough, GIT problems, and flatulence.
In terms of popularity, people like both somewhat equally. This is because they are used differently. People who like dill weed, like it because it is great for making salads, and it goes well with potatoes, cheese, or yogurt. In contrast, people who like dill seeds, like them because they are great for enhancing the taste of pickles and they go well with sausages, cabbage, and potatoes.
In terms of storage, dill seed being a dry food product can be stored for a very long time in a simple jar. The jar just needs to be dry. It can be used even after six months and it will still have its original taste. In contrast, dill weed cannot be stored for a very long time. In fact, it requires refrigeration to stay fresh. It can be stored in a freezer for up to two months but that will be it.
If dill weed is being used as a garnish for a dish, use fennel fronds instead. They look very similar. Fresh parsley can also be used as a garnish. It looks a bit different, but will still add that pop of green. If you don’t have either, just leave the garnish off, or get creative with whatever you have on hand.
Dill weed is sometimes also referred to as dill leaves. It’s the bright green, feathery fronds of the dill plant. It’s highly aromatic, and tastes of caraway or anise, with a bit of citrus thrown in.
Substituting fresh dill for dried dill (or vice versa) is easy to do. Just stick to these proportions, and you’ll get great results:
Substitutes for Dill Seed
When fresh dill is being used to flavor a recipe (as it is in pickles, soups, and sauces), use fresh tarragon in its place. To make the proper substitution, use an equal amount of fresh tarragon for the fresh dill, or dried tarragon for the dried dill. You can also use dried tarragon as a stand-in for fresh dill weed, but you’ll need to adjust the quantities, as it has a more intense flavor. Use one teaspoon of dried tarragon for every tablespoon of fresh dill called for in a recipe. Tarragon works well as a substitute for dill in seafood dishes and in salad dressings.
Working on a recipe that calls for dill weed or dill seed? If you don’t have any on hand, there are several things that you can use in its place, including other forms of dill, tarragon, celery seed or caraway seed. Here’s how to make a successful substitution, using what you have on hand.
Dill is incredibly easy to grow, so consider adding it to your garden. It's an annual, but it reseeds readily. Just allow some of the flowers to go to seed at the end of the season, and it should come up on its own next year.
Dried vs. Fresh
Dill seeds taste similar to dill weed, but they have a slightly bitter edge to them. They appear frequently in pickles, bread, salad dressing, and soup recipes. While you might be tempted to use dill weed as a substitute for dill seeds, you'll get better results if you use caraway seeds or celery seeds in their place. Replace them measure for measure, and you should come close to the intended flavor.
The dill flowers, stems, leaves, and seeds are all edible. Enjoy it fresh, while it’s in season. Then, dry or freeze your extra dill, so you’ll have a stash to draw from while it’s out of season. For the best flavor, pick your dill early in the morning.