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difference between dill weed and dill seed

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about dill seed vs dill weed including what they are and the key differences between the two.

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.

The definition of dill

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a spice plant that has been cultivated in Asia for many centuries. It has also been popular in Europe for many years. Both the seeds and the leaves of this plant are used as ingredients in food preparation. And even though both ingredients come from the same plant, they each provide a unique taste.

In terms of taste, dill weed can be used fresh or when dry. When fresh, it can be mixed with cheese or soup. The weed/leaves taste like a mix of lemon, parsley, and a sprinkling of anise. In contrast, dill seeds taste different. They taste like caraway. So dill weed and dill seed taste different despite coming from the same plant.

Despite their different tastes, both dill weed and dill seed taste nicer when cooked.

The dill plant is versatile in that you can use both the leaves and the seeds to provide flavor. “Dill weed” is the term used for the leaves; you can use them as an herb and use the seeds as a spice. Both forms of dill are essential for your spice collection as they are both popular ingredients in a number of different cuisines from all over the world. If you have encountered one or both forms of dill in your local supermarket, you may have wondered if there are any differences between the two. Do they have the same flavor? Can you use one in place of the other? Our Spiceography Showdown will provide you with answers.

Like many herbs, the seeds and the leaves do have some similarities but they are not identical. The flavor of dill leaves is similar to that of parsley and anise with notes of lemon. While dill seeds do have the same notes of anise, they also have notes of caraway. The seeds’ flavor is more pungent and some cooks even consider it slightly bitter and reminiscent of camphor; on the other hand, the leaves’ flavor is more delicate. In addition to all that, dill seeds have a characteristic not found in dill weed: their flavor tends to become stronger when heated.

Does dill weed have the same taste as dill seeds?

Because of the flavor differences, the seeds and leaves of the dill plant are not ideal replacements for each other; however, it is possible in a pinch. Keep in mind that you will need to use different amounts when substituting one for the other. Three heads of dill weed is roughly equivalent to a single tablespoon of the seeds. In addition, bear in mind that the seeds stand up to longer cooking times better than the leaves. This means that if you are using dill weed in place of the seeds, it is best to add them towards the end of the cooking time rather than at the beginning.

When making substitutions, you should also consider the difference in appearance between the seeds and the leaves. Some people find the appearance of dill weed in pickle brine to be unappetizing. If you are using dill weed instead dill seeds to flavor your pickles, you may want to chop it finely to make it less noticeable.

In the United States, the most well known use of dill seeds is as the main flavoring in dill pickles; however, they are widely used in Indian, Eastern European and Scandinavian cuisines. Dill seeds are excellent when used in acidic dishes including pickled beets, carrots and even pickled fish. You can also add them to your lentil dal or use them with any other legume to aid digestion.

Dill seed has a long history of medicinal use. Practitioners use dill as a treatment for various stomach ailments, insomnia and as a mild diuretic. Chewing dill seeds has found acceptance among herbalists as a treatment for bad breath. Dill can also relieve flatulence. The name dill comes from Norse word meaning “to lull”, which refers to the dill plant’s anti-flatulence properties, according to Purdue University. Herbalists also use dill to promote lactation in nursing mothers and to help prevent colic in infants.

The foliage or “weed” of the dill plant has a fernlike feathery appearance and a crisp sweet taste. The leaves find their way into many recipes for soups, sauces and salads as a flavoring. Most prominently, dill weed provides a key ingredient for a popular type of pickle. The weed may lose its flavor if cooked. For best results, use the leaves raw or add to a dish shortly before it finishes cooking. You can also make a tea from dill weed. Use dill weed as soon as possible after harvesting, if growing the plant in your garden.

Dill seed is not technically a seed. It’s a fruit less than an inch long that separates into two halves, each containing one true seed. Dill seed has a more pungent flavor than the weed and finds use in pickling and as a seasoning. To harvest dill seeds, cut the flowerheads from the plant just as the fruit starts to turn tan, leaving some of the stalk connected to the seeds. Hang the stalks upside down in a dry area. When the fruits have dried, shake them off the stalk and place them in a spot away from heat and bright light in an airtight container. Under the proper conditions, they can last up to a year.


Dill, a native of the Mediterranean, belongs to the parsley family and has a long history of usage by humans. Today, growers cultivate dill in many parts of the world, with India and Pakistan having two of the largest commercial operations. Growers value two separate parts of the plant for their culinary and medicinal properties. The dill weed, or leaves, and the dill seed, which commonly refers to the plant’s fruit.

You can create a supply of fresh dill weed and dill seed by growing the plant in your garden. Select a well-drained, nutrient-rich site with a mildly acidic soil. Plant dill in a sunny spot that has protection from high winds. Grow dill from seeds — true seeds not the fruit — since it does not grow well when transplanted. Place the seeds about 1/4 inch into the soil. If planting in multiple rows, place the rows 2 feet apart. Keep the rows weed-free and use a 5-10-5 fertilizer annually in the spring, advises the University of Minnesota Extension.