My authentic Tirokafteri recipe is a wonderfully spicy feta dip inspired by a holiday to the beautiful island of Rhodes in Greece over 20 years ago. I have visited the Greek islands many times since then and I have always indulged my love for Tirokafteri. It’s widely available on bar and restaurant menus and is often served as a starter with an accompaniment of pitta and vegetables (crudities) or as a dip or accompaniment for traditional Greek kebabs known as souvlaki.
Authentic Tirokafteri Recipe Ingredients
To give this cheesy dip it’s unmistakable creamy texture and spicy hit, an authentic Tirokafteri recipe calls for a generous amount of feta cheese and a brave helping of chilli.
It’s quite rich and so a little goes a long way if you’re concerned about the calorie count in this dip. Serve with fresh and crunchy carrot sticks, slices of pepper, cucumber or lightly toasted pitta bread strips to counter-balance the rich flavor. This is a Greek dinner table favorite.
Feta is a soft cheese with a firm yet crumbly texture. It gets its slightly salty taste from the brine it is pickled in during processing. It was traditionally made from sheep’s milk although these days it is also made with a combination of sheep and goat’s milk or cow’s milk.
How To Make Tirokafteri
An important element of this tasty dip is it’s creamy texture. This is achieved by placing the feta into a food processor and using the pulse setting to create a crumbly texture. The trick then is to whisk in the combined Greek yoghurt, extra virgin olive oil and spices. Check the seasoning and be careful not to add too much additional salt.
Authentic Tirokafteri Recipe Variations
Most feta cheese that is produced with sheep milk or goat milk will be suitable for vegetarians. The feta varieties containing cow’s milk will most likely have had animal rennet added to it in the production process. Always check the labelling to be sure.
This is a great dip to make in advance. It can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in your refrigerator.
Authentic Tirokafteri Recipe
- Blender or Food Processor
- 4 Roasted red peppers in oil from a jar drained
- 250 g Greek yoghurt
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 1 small Bird’s eye chilli (deseeded if you prefer less heat
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 350 g feta cheese
- Roughly chop the red peppers then place in a food processor. Blitz to a pulp and reserve for later.
- Using the same food processor, break the feta into pieces and set your food processor to the pulse setting. Pulse gently until the feta resembles breadcrumbs
- In a separate bowl combine the yoghurt, oil, smoked paprika, chilli and pulpy red peppers. Whisk vigorously until well combined and smooth
- Add the crumbled feta to the yoghurt mixture and whisk until creamy
- Spoon into serving bowls. Drizzle with a little more of the extra virgin olive oil before serving