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What Is Dill Relish?

Glyn Sinclair
Glyn Sinclair

Relish is a mixture of ingredients that creates a condiment typically used as a flavoring for other food items. It can be composed of chopped vegetables or fruits and can sometimes be pickled in vinegar, sugar and salt. It can also be used as a dip with chips or crackers. A fragrant and spicy herb, dill is from the parsley family and its leaves and seeds are used for flavoring food and pickled preparations. Dill relish is a condiment that typically includes cucumbers, onions and dill seeds, along with a variety of other ingredients.

There are many different types of relish. Some of these include chutney, piccalilli, pickle relish and chow-chow. Each uses slightly different combinations of ingredients but the consistency of the final product is usually the same. Dill has a distinct flavor and this tends to override many of the other ingredients in dill relish.

Dill weed.
Dill weed.

Making dill relish is a fairly simple process. The ingredients are first gathered together and these can include cucumbers, onions, dill seeds and sprigs, turmeric spice and white wine vinegar. The cucumbers are chopped in a food processor and then placed in a bowl and seasoned with turmeric and salt. Water is poured over the cucumbers and they are then allowed to sit for one to two hours. The water is then drained and chopped onions are added to the mix along with the vinegar, dill seeds and sugar.

Dill seed.
Dill seed.

The concoction is then poured into a pan and after being brought to a boil, it is allowed to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. At this point the dill relish is typically bottled in pickling jars. If the relish is left in a bowl it can be covered and placed in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The dill relish is usually allowed to sit at room temperature and then garnished with dill sprigs before serving.

Dill has been used as a cooking spice for thousands of years and has actually been mentioned in ancient medical books. It is rich in calcium, magnesium and iron and is thought to aid in digestion. It can also be used for its antiseptic properties on cuts and wounds. Dill may also help with bladder infections and is rumored to cure bad breath and even hiccups. Relish has been around for hundreds of years in one form or another, and with all the purported health benefits of the plant, dill relish may have been included on the menu as well.

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Discussion Comments


@serenesurface-- I like the store variety. It's nice and sweet. In fact, I buy them in bulk sometimes because I eat dill relish a lot. I don't know why they're called dill relish though because they're mostly just cucumbers.


@SteamLouis-- I hope you're not eating the commercial variety sold in stores. Those are okay but homemade dill relish is far better.

I made a batch last week and it turned out very good. There are several steps involved so I can't say that it's a quick process. It does require some work but it's worth it. We barbecue a lot in my house and we have hot dogs and hamburgers usually once a week. And considering how good dill relish goes with hot dogs, we use up the relish fairly quickly.

I actually don't put too much dill in my relish. Dill has a strong, overpowering flavor. I don't want the relish to taste just like dill. So I put a little bit for the mild fragrance it provides, that's it.


I'm not too fond of dill. I have eaten many times because my mom is French and she often made a zucchini dish with dill in it while growing up. But I didn't eat dill for a very long time after I left home. I have started eating it again though because I've heard that it's very beneficial for thyroid function. I've been diagnosed with an under-functioning thyroid. Dill apparently is very nutritious and full of the vitamins and minerals that helps the thyroid work better.

So I've been buying dill relish and finding various ways to eat it. It's not bad at all on meat.

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