Greek Red Easter Eggs

Happy Easter to all our gardeners and followers!

The Greek people have a wonderful Easter game called  tsougrisma (τσουγκρισμα) which means ‘clinking together’ or ‘clashing’ and uses Red Eggs, or eggs that are hard boiled and then coloured using red food dye. The colour of the egg represents Christ’s suffering and death on the cross.  The cracking symbolizes Christ’s resurrection from the tomb or new beginnings. Traditionally it is played after the Easter service and the eggs are blessed and distributed but Joe plays tsougrisma with his family at his Easter lunch table.

Each person at the table takes a red egg and holding it firmly gripped challenges the person next to them to tap the top of their egg  and try to break it.  The winner with the unbroken egg then challenges another person and so on around the table until one person remains with an unbroken egg.

The winner is fated to have good luck for the year ahead.  Not only is the game fun and brings lots of laughter to the Easter table as people try all kinds of methods to win but then you can eat the hard boiled egg as well!

Christós anésti, Buona Pasqua,  Felices Pascuas, Feliz Pascoa, Frohe Ostern, Schöni Oschtere.

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Joe’s method of making perfect hard boiled eggs

  1. The eggs should be at room temperature and not too fresh
  2. The final colour will depend on the colour of the eggs, white eggs will give a bright colour and brown eggs a darker red
  3. Wash a dozen eggs
  4. Place in a steamer basket over 1.5 cm
  5. Bring to the boil then lower heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes
  6. Turn off and leave on the hotplate for 5 minutes while preparing colouring liquid.
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Eggs in a steamer basket over simmering water.


Colouring the eggs:

IMG_20160327_101213-red dye

  1. Place 200 ml water in a stainless steel saucepan to the boil
  2. Dissolve a sachet of Red dye powder and stir in  2 Tblsp of white vinegar into the  saucepan
  3. Stir the water well to dissolve the dye
  4. Lower the eggs gently into the dye and submerge until they become a strong red colour.
  5. Joe has made all the eggs at once and turned the eggs over and spooned over the eggs to make sure they are well coloured
  6. After 20 mins remove to a rack to dry and cool
  7. When cold lightly coat the eggs with olive oil and polish them well with some paper towel



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The red dyed eggs after ten minutes
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Coloured eggs drying on a rack
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The finished polished red eggs

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One thought on “Greek Red Easter Eggs

  1. Those are such a beautiful shade of red! I remember playing that on Easter when I was a child; there must be a similar tradition in Lithuania.


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