Armenian Easter treats

Most people think of chocolate bunnies or marshmallow “peeps” when it comes to Easter treats. Armenians think of Easter eggs and chorag. (OK, so we might think about sweet things, too!)

Easter breakfast just wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t serve hard-cooked eggs colored from the dye of onion skins -not the dyes you get from the Paas box at the grocery store – and a basket of warm chorag.

Start saving the skins of onions ahead of time so you have plenty to use – the darker the onion skins, the more color the egg shell will absorb.

Dying Easter eggs – Armenian-style

It’s very easy:

Hard cook eggs as you normally do, but add the onion skins to the water before you start the cooking process.

You’ve never hard-cooked eggs before? Here’s what you do:

1. Gently place eggs in a deep pot.
2. Add enough water to come one inch above the eggs. (Add onion skins now if you’re coloring eggs for Easter.)
3. Cook over high heat until water comes to a boil.
4. Immediately cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
5. Let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes.
6. Discard the onion skins, if used.
7. Remove the eggs from the hot water and cool them immediately in a bowl of cold water. (This stops any further cooking, makes eggs easier to peel, and helps prevent a greenish ring from forming around the yolk.)
8. Pat the eggs dry, and refrigerate them until serving time.

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  1. David Blasco April 9, 2009 at 2:01 am

    This is amazing. I had no idea this would work. A natural way to dye eggs. I love it. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous February 20, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Onion colored eggs are the bomb. Taste is thousand times better than regular or other colored eggs. Those who have a good palate would be able to tell the difference trust me!

  3. Koharig May 15, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Armenian tradition also includes the "fighting" of Easter eggs. One person holds the egg in their hand as if making a fist with only the top of the egg above their fingers. The other individual holds an egg using their thumb and first two fingers. This person then taps, or smashes or anything in between, their egg onto the exposed part of the first person's egg. One of the egg shells will crack…I have never experienced both eggs cracking. The person with the cracked egg turns their egg over to expose the uncracked end in order to be hit again. Tradionally, who ever had the egg with the uncracked side was given the egg that had two cracked ends that they had defeated. This continues with everyone and all eggs, until only one egg that has at least one uncracked end remains. The person with this egg is considered the winner and who will have luck throughout the next year.

    No self respecting Armenian would eat an Easter egg without "playing" it first. Of course there are much shinanagans going on. Selecting a strong egg is serious work. Some individuals tap the egg on their front teeth, sure that they could tell it's strength that way. Others have theories on the shape of the egg determining strength. Others have attempted to sneak in fake wooden or marble eggs in an attempt to fool their competitors. There are many techniques in hitting the eggs, some cheat and hit the egg at an angle instead of straight down. Those with the egg being hit sometimes loosen their grip so the egg slips down and cannot be hit. I'm sure that there are as many techniques as there are Armenians playing.

    Inviting odars, non Armenians, over to fight eggs always brings a quizzical look. They usually expect eggs to be thrown at one another and are pleasantly suprised to find that they are not going to have "egg on their face". Easter egg fighting however is NOT the way to find out that you boiled one batch of eggs twice and didn't boil the other batch. Imagine everyone's surprise at my table one year when the egg fighting began…some with dyed, but raw, eggs.

    Because of egg fighting, an over abundance of eggs have to be dyed, so that people have many opportunities to compete….so be prepared for lots of egg salad and deviled eggs in the days to follow.

    1. koharig May 15, 2013 at 11:16 am

      opps, sorry didn't realize i wrote a thesis on egg fighting. just call me Koharig PhD.

    2. Robyn May 17, 2013 at 12:08 am

      I'm happy to see that our families have the exact same Easter egg tradition! It's fun, isn't it?


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