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How to make Easter Eggs using natural food dyes

The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. However, real eggs continue to be used in Central and Eastern European traditions. Although eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth, in Christianity, for the celebration of Eastertide, Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus, from which Jesus resurrected.

The practice of coloring Easter eggs is very much alive in Poland today as well as enjoyed by Polish people all over the world. There are several techniques for making ‘pisanki including the use of wax flowing from a pipe or funnel, producing richly ornamented designs or the etching of designs onto a previously colored egg. The geometric and floral patterns or the animal and human images produced reveal a high level of craftsmanship and artistry.

The pisanki derive from an ancient tradition when eggs, the symbol of life, were endowed with magical properties and were thought to ensure both a plentiful harvest and good health. The name Pisanki comes from the Polish word “pisac”, which means to write.

This method to dye eggs using natural foods is definitely one for the bucket list this Easter and very easy to prepare using your Thermomix. Super fun times for the whole family. I love colouring Easter eggs and until recently I always used to buy these little food colouring tablets in my local supermarket. This year I decided to go a little more natural and try something different. I am so impressed with the results of Thermomix natural Easter egg dye and I can only recommend you try it for yourself. It is a great way to make use of leftover vegetables and scraps that you would have otherwise chucked away. There are so many colours you can make but I have listed my favourites and also included a method below for you. When you’re done with the big Easter egg hunt, simply use up the leftover boiled eggs to make my tasty Egg salad.

On the Saturday before Easter Sunday, Poles paint hard-boiled eggs (called pisanki) and then have them blessed. I’m not sure given the current status of lockdown if we can go to church but we’ll be sending our prayers around the world. Happy Easter.

Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)

Butter chicken or murgh makhani is a dish, originating in India, of chicken in a mildly spiced tomato sauce.  This is one of the ultimate curry dishes. The secret is to marinate the chicken in the chicken tikka paste overnight before combining it with the rich, indulgent makhani sauce.

I’ve seen ‘skinny’ or diet versions of this on various Thermomix bloggers websites. I’m going to take a stand on this and say don’t go there. If you translate murgh makhani it literally translates to chicken butter. If the key ingredients weren’t chicken or butter, then it wouldn’t be called that. If you don’t want to indulge in these, then choose another dish. Something like chicken tikka masala which uses tomatoes as the base, not butter and cream. There is absolutely no point of even attempting this dish if you are not going to stay true to the dish.

Seriously though, if the ingredients give you cause for concern or you are following a particular diet, then use the tikka paste and make chicken tikka masala which uses tomatoes as a base instead of cream and butter. It’s another Punjabi dish and one of our family favourites.

N.b. I have a separate post for the tikka paste on the website.

Satay Chicken, Beef or Pork

Satay Sauce

Satay lovers rejoice! This is the stuff food dreams are made of – chicken marinated in an authentic homemade satay sauce, then simmered in an incredible Satay Peanut Sauce. No hard to find ingredient and ready in under 30 minutes.

Satay sauce or peanut sauce is typical recipe usually contains ground roasted peanuts or peanut butter (smooth or crunchy), coconut milk, soy sauce, tamarind, galangal, garlic, and spices (such as coriander seed or cumin). Other possible ingredients are chili peppers, sugar, fried onion, and lemongrass.

I’ll be using the satay sauce as a serving dip with my chicken/ beef satays in another blog post but thought this needed its own post as it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about a month.