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Sauce for the soul

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Liven up your meal with dill sauce

Dill is a unique plant in that both its leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning. Dill's green leaves are wispy and fernlike, and have a soft, sweet taste. Dried dill seeds are light brown in colour and oval in shape, featuring a flat side and a convex, ridged side.

Dill's name comes from an old Norse word “dilla” which means “to lull”. This name reflects dill's traditional uses as both a carminative to soothe the stomach and to relieve insomnia. Dill is scientifically known as Anethum graveolens and is part of the Umbelliferae family, whose other members include parsley, cumin and bay leaf.

The herb is native to southern Russia, western Africa and the Mediterranean region. It has been used for its culinary and medicinal properties for millennia. Whenever possible, choose fresh dill weed over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in its delicate, fragrant flavour. The leaves of fresh dill should look feathery and green in colour. Dill leaves that are a little wilted are still acceptable since they usually droop quickly after being picked.

Fresh dill should always be stored in the refrigerator either wrapped in a damp paper towel or with its stems placed in a container of water. Since it is fragile, even if stored properly, dill will only keep fresh for about two days. Dill can be frozen, either whole or chopped, in airtight containers.

Dill seed is a good source of calcium, manganese and iron.

Now, for a recipe.

Creamy Dill Sauce

Ingredients

Cream: 50ml

Dried dill: half tsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter: 1 tbsp

Method: Combine all the ingredients in a pan. Cook at high temperature for a minute or until the sauce comes to a boil. Pour hot sauce over desired vegetables or seafood.

Note: The sauce can be used with seafood such as salmon and vegetables such as broccoli, potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts.

BHOLANATH JHA

Chef de Partie, Taj Connemara

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