Widely used in Indian cooking, authentic Indian curry powder is freshly ground each day and can vary dramatically depending on the region and the cook. Curry powder is actually a pulverized blend of up to 20 spices, herbs and seeds. Among those most commonly used are cardamom, chiles, cinnamon, cloves coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek, mace, nutmeg, red and black pepper, poppy and sesame seeds, saffron, tamarind and turmeric (the latter is what gives curried dishes their characteristic yellow color). Commercial curry powder (which bears little resemblance to the freshly ground blends of southern India) comes in two basic styles — standard, and the hotter of the two, "Madras." Since curry powder quickly loses its pungency, it should be stored, airtight, no longer than 2 months.
Dill is not only a pretty foliage plant; it's fragrance is a "comfort smell" for many people. I barely touch it's feathery leaves and the smell of homemade dill pickles, crisp and savory, rubs off on my hands. At the same time, dill is an herb that is often passed over as just a pickle spice and is not truly appreciated.
Dill can easily be grown from seed in full sun, and can even tolerate a slightly sandy soil. However, when first planting you should keep the soil moist until established. Do not move your dill; instead plant where you will be growing it. Thin the seedlings to 10 inches apart; they will grow about 3 feet high. Use the seedlings that you pull up; they are tender and delicious! Be sure to let one of the plants remain with it's seeds after the season is finished, so it will reseed itself. These plants will be much sturdier and hardier. Throughout the summer you can plant dill in 2 week intervals also, to maintain a supply of fresh leaves.
Dill leaf can be clipped and used in cottage cheese, potato salad, cream cheese, tomato soup and salads. You may also sprinkle chopped young dill on broiling lamb, pork chops or steak during the last five minutes of cooking. The seeds that form on dill can be sprinkled on small pieces of toast or crackers with salmon that has been mixed with mayonnaise. Both the seed and leaf can be used in fish sauces. The fresh leaves can be frozen in small resealable bags and used in dishes. When the leaves are dried, they are referred to as dill weed in recipes. The seeds can be kept in a closed container and used as needed.
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