Dyed Greek Easter eggs

Sofia has an Easter story as well as a wonderful Greek Easter egg tradition to share.

Sofia's Easter story

For as long as I can remember my mother would dye eggs at Easter. And, of course, I continued this 'tradition’ for my own family. The dyed eggs are certainly an alternative to chocolate eggs, they're much healthier, and very different.

Greek Easter just wouldn't be Easter without our dyed eggs. For a truly festive atmosphere, Greek or not, perhaps you could create an Easter activity for your family − using the traditional red dye, as my mother used to do, or multiple colours if you prefer. They look stunning on the table and provide a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy. You can supervise your children while they delight in breaking into each others eggs.

As kids, each of us would choose an egg, and we'd then try our hardest to crack someone else's egg. If your egg stays intact you're not only the winner, but are also prophessed to have good luck for the coming year. One rule to prevent over-exuberance is to insist that each cracked egg be eaten before another is cracked.

Becoming 'egged out' is a distinct possibility! And, you may find eggs are off the menu for some time to come!

One of my fondest memories is of my father's incredible unbreakable egg! Years later, we kids discovered that he'd coated the top of his egg with superglue! We were not at all happy to have been tricked year after year! At Easter time, even though they now have families of their own, my children still recall with affection their grandfather’s underhand antics.

Greek Easter eggs are not only made for celebrating and fun − the traditional red dye symbolises the blood and sacrifice of Christ.

Enjoy this wonderful tradition, and Happy Easter wishes to one and all.

Sofia Moutzouris

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 package red egg dye powder (you can use multiple colours as desired)*
  • 6 cups warm water
  • 1/3 of a cup of vinegar
  • Olive oil, for shining

* The proportionss are indicative, refer also to package instructions

Preparation

  • Wash the eggs thoroughly and place them (in one single layer) gently in an empty pot. Add enough cold water to cover the eggs by 3-4 cm.
  • Season the water with a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil. If you like your eggs hard-boiled, but not dried out, boil the eggs for six minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and place the eggs under cold running water for about one minute to stop the cooking process. 
  • Crack one egg to check you're happy with the result.
  • After the eggs cool down, start preparing the dye. 
  • Place the warm water and the dye powder in a large glass bowl and stir, until dissolved. Add the vinegar and stir to combine. 
  • Carefully place the eggs (comfortably) in the bowl and set aside for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a rack over some kitchen paper.
  • Leave the eggs to dry for about 40 minutes.
  • Wipe each of the dry dyed eggs with a paper towel coated with a little olive oil.

Tips for making the perfect dyed Greek Easter eggs 

Here are some tips to make sure that your Greek Easter eggs, as well as being vibrant and colourful, are also perfectly cooked.

  • Make sure the eggs are at room temperature by leaving them out of the fridge for three hours before you begin. 
  • Use cold water to boil the eggs. If you use already boiledwater, the shells are more than likely to crack. 
  • Fresh eggs are less likely to crack, but may be more difficult to peel. 
  • To prevent your eggs from cracking and make them easier to peel, add pinch of salt to the cold water before boiling.
  • The eggs should be resting on the bottom of the saucepan. Discard any eggs float to the top, as they may not be as fresh as you'd like. 
  • To help centre the yolks, stir gently while the water is coming to the boil (but be careful not to crack the shells). 
  • As soon as the eggs are boiled, place them under running cold water. This will stop the cooking process and will help prevent the yolk from forming a less than attractive green crust around them. 
  • To ensure a vibrant colour, it's important to add the vinegar. 
  • Add a little shine to your dyed Greek Easter eggs by wiping them with a paper towel coated with olive oil.