All it takes is a dash of dill

All it takes is a dash of dill

Dill is native to Russia, central Europe and parts of the Mediterranean. Much before it was known for its exotic flavour, dill was known for its medicinal properties; it’s no surprise that the word dill originated from the Norse word “dilla", which means “to lull". Dill features in the Bible, in Greek and Roman cultures, its curative properties propelling it to something of a luxury and, therefore, a symbol of wealth.

Part of the Umbelliferae family, dill is related to parsley, cumin and bay and is one of the few herbs whose seeds and leaves both get used as seasoning and for garnish. Dill is a prominent ingredient in most of the popular dishes in its birthplace—like the Borscht in Russia and central European countries like Romania; salads in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. The Serbians use it in soups, potato and cucumber salads and French fries. The Mediterranean countries use it in the fattoush salad and pickles, and in India, dill (known as suwa/soa) is used in yellow moong dal.


Eat it this way

Pomegranate, basil, dill and spinach salad

Serves 4


1 cup pomegranate seeds

4 handfuls baby spinach

1 cup fresh coriander sprigs

1/2 cup basil leaves

1/4 cup dill leaves

Pomegranate, basil, dill and spinach salad

For the dressing

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp cider vinegar

2 tsp honey

Salt and pepper to taste


Remove the stems of the spinach leaves and wash. Also, wash the coriander sprigs, basil and dill leaves. Keep aside. Now to prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper to form a smooth mixture. Mix all the greens with a light hand along with the dressing. Add pomegranate seeds in the end. Serve fresh.

—Surendra Singh, executive sous chef, The Oberoi, New Delhi.