Dill is a perennial herb, in which both the leaves and seeds can be used for seasoning. It is scientifically called the Anethum graveolens and belongs to the family Umbelliferae. Dill’s leaves resemble fern leaves and are wispy in shape. They give a soft and sweet taste to the food. Dill seeds are dried and used for seasoning in dishes. These seeds have an oval shape and are brown in color. They taste somewhat similar to the caraway, in having sweet, citrusy and aromatic flavor. However, they also have a slightly bitter taste.
Dill owes its name to the Norse word “dilla”, which means “to lull”. The herb got this name owing to the fact that it acts as a stomach soother and also a greater reliever against insomnia. It originally belongs to Western Africa, Mediterranean region and Southern Russia. It was considered as a sign of wealth in the ancient Roman and Greek cultures, where its various medicinal properties were identified. Today, it forms one of the principal ingredients in the cuisines of Central Europe, North Africa, Scandinavia and the Russian Federation.