Making these is probably the most fun that can be had in the kitchen over Easter! The inspiration comes from the Greek Easter eggs served to break the 40-day (vegan) fast of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday. These are often served after midnight mass. Each person carefully selects an egg and then a game is played to see who has the ‘strongest’ egg. It works like this: you select an opponent and then knock eggs together at the tips – the first egg to crack loses, but the contents are gobbled up by the loser as compensation. The winner then moves on to the next opponent, and whoever has an undamaged egg at the end of the game is named the winner. They get to express as much smugness as they deem necessary for the rest of the holiday! I love it.
The Greek eggs are most commonly dyed red, and regular brown onion skins are used to get the colour. You can also use a number of other kitchen ingredients to dye eggs in different hues – nothing toxic, nothing synthetic. Kids definitely love making these, but you are forgiven for unleashing your own child-like creativity if you just want to witness a little magic in the kitchen (personally, I couldn’t get over the blue colour from the red cabbage the first time I made these)! The eggs will keep in the fridge for a couple of days after, so even if you just want to make them as decoration you can still use the contents to make something like a post-Easter egg mayo.
Use organic eggs where possible, and select the palest eggs to ensure the most vibrant colours. Have fun…and start saving those onion skins!
For each batch:
1 litre of (cold tap) water
2 TBSP White Vinegar
For the red: 2 Cups brown onion skins
For the blue: 1-2 Cups shredded red cabbage
For the brown: 3 TBSP ground coffee
For the yellow: 3 TBSP Turmeric Powder
A little vegetable oil (sunflower/olive etc)
- Measure out a litre of water into separate saucepans for each colour you decide to make. Bring the water to the boil. Add the required ‘dye’ for that colour to the pot, and the vinegar (which will act as a fixative for the dye). Cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until the cooking liquid is saturated with colour.
- Add 4-6 eggs (nestle them in amongst the onion skins/cabbage) and add more water if necessary to make sure the eggs are completely submerged. Bring to the boil and simmer for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the eggs to steep in the dying liquid. The longer you leave them, the darker the colour – if you have space in the fridge let them sit overnight. Use a spoon to carefully lift each dyed egg from the liquid and drain (I just popped them back into the egg carton).
- Use a small amount of oil rubbed into the hands to rub over each egg for a glossy finish.