Fennel seeds and dill seeds are both commonly used in cooking. Fennel seeds are usually crushed before use, but you can also buy them whole if you prefer.
Dill seeds are thinner than fennel seeds and have a more delicate flavor. Though they may look similar, there are some major differences between these two spices.
Here’s what you need to know about each one so that you can decide which one to use for your next recipe.
The Difference Between Dill and Fennel Seeds
Dill seeds are thinner than fennel seeds and have a more delicate flavor. Fennel seeds are usually crushed before use, but you can also buy them whole if you prefer. So what’s the difference? Here’s some information to help you decide which one to use for your next recipe:
* Dill seeds are often used in Indian cooking. They can be used as an accent flavor or as a main spice.
* Fennel seeds are most often used in Italian cooking, although they’re also popular in Middle Eastern cuisine.
* Dill seed is typically crushed before use, while fennel seeds are more frequently eaten whole.
* Dill seed is sweeter than fennel seed, so it may be better suited for desserts or cakes, whereas fennel seed is often paired with fish or vegetables.
What are the flavor profiles of each?
Fennel seeds are slightly more bitter than dill seeds. Dill seeds have a delicate flavor with hints of citrus, while fennel seeds are more pungent and contain hints of anise.
Where do I use each spice?
Dill seeds can be used in a variety of dishes. Dill is traditionally used to flavor fish and chicken dishes. Dill seeds are also one of the key ingredients in dill pickles. Fennel seeds have a licorice flavor that is perfect for fish dishes as well as soups, stews, and sauces.
How should I store these spices?
If you buy fennel seeds whole, they will stay fresh for much longer than if you bought them crushed. Dill seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Fennel seeds can also be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Dill is a key ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, like tabbouleh, while Fennel is most often used in European dishes like Mediterranean or Indian curry. Dill is usually more pungent and sweet, while Fennel is often described as more earthy.
Use Dill in dishes that you want to remain light, like salads or sauces. Use Fennel in dishes that need a little something extra like soups or stews.
Dill is best stored in the fridge in an airtight container or wrapped in paper towels, while Fennel seeds are best stored in the pantry.