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Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a short-lived perennial herb. It is the sole species of the genus Anethum, though classified by some botanists in a related genus as Peucedanum graveolens (L.) C.B.Clarke.

Growth

It grows to , with slender stems and alternate, finely divided, softly delicate leaves long. The ultimate leaf divisions are broad, slightly broader than the similar leaves of fennel, which are threadlike, less than broad, but harder in texture. The flowers are white to yellow, in small umbels diameter. The seeds are long and thick, and straight to slightly curved with a longitudinally ridged surface.

Origins and history

Dried dill umbel
Dill originated in Eastern Europe . Zohary and Hopf remark that "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 report that the earliest archeological evidence for its cultivation comes from late Neolithic lake shore settlements in Switzerland. Traces have been found in Roman ruins in Great Britainmarker.

In Semitic languages it is known by the name of Shubit. The Talmud requires that tithes shall be paid on the seeds, leaves, and stem of dill. The Bible states that the Pharisees were in the habit of paying dill as tithe. Jesus rebuked them for tithing dill but omitting justice, mercy and faithfulness.

Folklore

To the Greeks the presence of dill was an indication of prosperity. In the 8th century, Charlemagne used it at banquets to relieve hiccups and in the Middle Ages it was used in a love potion and was believed to keep witches away.

Nomenclature and taxonomy

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. In Sanskrit, this herb is termed as Shatapushpa. The seeds of this herb is also termed as Shatakuppi sompa, Shatapushpi, Sabasige, Badda sompu, Sabasiga, Surva, Soyi, Sowa, Soya in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannanda, Gujarathi, Hindi, Punjabi etc.

Uses

Fresh and dried dill leaves (sometimes called "dill weed" to distinguish it from dill seed) are used as herbs.

Like caraway, its fernlike leaves are aromatic, and are used to flavor many foods, such as gravlax (cured salmon), borscht and other soups, and pickle (where sometimes the dill flower is used). Dill is said to be 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 seeds were traditionally used to soothe the stomach after meals. And, dill oil can be extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant.

In Lao cuisine and parts of northern Thailandmarker and Vietnammarker dill is known in English as Laotian coriander and Lao cilantro ( , , ). In the Lao language it is called Phak See and in Thai it is known as Phak Chee Lao. In Lao cuisine, the herb is typically used in mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaf) and several coconut milk-based curries that contain fish or prawns. Lao coriander is also an essential ingredient in Vietnamese dishes like chả cá and canh cá thì là.

In Iran dill is known as "Shevid" and it's used sometimes with rice which they call it "Shevid-Polo".

Cultivation

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 3–10 years. Plants intended for seed for further planting should not be grown near fennel, as the two species can hybrid .

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.

Aroma profile



Toxicology



External links



Notes & References


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