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If you've spent any time around my recipes, you no doubt know that I'm a massive fan of Greek food. This dip, pronounced "ty-row-kaf-tyri", is characteristic of Mediterranean food; a few simple ingredients coming together to make something special.

Made from feta cheese and chilli, this is a creamy, salty and fiery dip. It works well as part of a meze plate, or as part of a charcuterie board.

This dip comes together in about 5 minutes and is great for last minute entertaining. I always have a block of feta and a capsicum in my fridge, and everything else is from the pantry. Perfect served with some crackers and some dipping vegetables!

What is Tirokafteri?

At its core Tirokafteri (aka Tyrokafteri) is a feta and chilli dip. I add a little yoghurt to make the texture softer.

Traditionally, this would be made with fresh chillis, however given that the heat can vary significantly between chillis, I prefer to make it with chilli flakes and add a little fresh capsicum/bell pepper for the sweetness you'd get with fresh chilli.

Greek Spicy Feta Dip "Tirokafteri" ingredients

  • Feta cheese - you can't have a feta dip without feta! Always get a PDO cheese wherever you can because the taste, texture and quality is better. A creamier feta works better, but you can still make this dip with a firm feta - just increase the amount of yoghurt you use to make it a creamy consistency.
  • Greek yoghurt - this is added to help with the creamy texture of the tip. If you're using a firm feta, you might need to add a little more yoghurt.
  • Extra virgin olive oil - this is Greek so of course there is EVOO in it! Use a quality Greek oil wherever you can.
  • Oregano - brings a nice herby note to the dish
  • Chilli/red pepper flakes - Traditionally this dish would be made with fresh chillis, however fresh chillis can vary wildly with the amount of heat they contain. Using chilli flakes allows you to dial in the amount of heat that you want in your dip.
  • Capsicum - I use a little finely diced capsicum to bring sweetness that fresh chilli ordinarily would to the dish.
  • Lemon - Just a drop to bring some sourness. Not traditional but the first time I tried this dip it has a little lemon and it pairs well - leave out if you want.
  • Salt - you can omit it if you're watching your salt intake, but adding a pinch of salt will enhance the flavour of the feta and chilli.

How to make Tirokafteri

I make this dip in a small food processor - the type that comes with a stick blender. It's the smallest one that I have and is the perfect size for the dip.

You could make it in a thermomix, food processor, or even mash it up with a fork if you don't have any appliances.

  1. Add the feta, chilli flakes, yoghurt, lemon juice and olive oil

  2. Pulse to your desired texture. I've seen this dish served from chunky through to a paste. I prefer it on the coarser side, just make sure the ingredients are well incorporated.

  3. Add the capsicum and adjust salt and chilli. Stir through with a spoon

  4. Serve with crackers and dipping vegetables. Pita bread also works very well.

What should the texture be?

However you like it! I prefer it to be coarse, but you can make it into a smooth paste if you like!

Which type of feta works best?

Feta ranges from semi soft to hard. A softer cheese will give a better result for the dip. Use a PDO feta if you can find one.

If all you can get is a firm feta, just add a little more Greek yoghurt to the dip to help make it smooth.

Can I use fresh chilli instead?

Absolutely! The reason I don't in this recipe is that the heat level can vary significantly between chilli. If you have fresh chilli that you like, feel free to substitute the capsicum and chilli flakes in the recipe. I suggest that you remove the seeds though, because the seeds will make the dip chewy.

Can I make Tirokafteri in advance?

Yes, this can be made a day or so in advance.

How long will Tirokafteri last after making?

The dip will be good in the fridge for 3-5 days after making it. Just make sure to keep it in a container with a lid to avoid it drying out in the fridge or taking on odours from the fridge.

What to serve with Tirokafteri

Here are some ideas on what to serve with Tirokafteri:

  • Pita bread
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Your favourite crackers

Greek Spicy Feta Dip "Tirokafteri"

Unrated
Prep Total
10 mins 10 mins
Serves 8
A creamy & spicy Greek feta cheese dip that works well as part of an entertaining platter or meze spread.
  • 200g feta cheese the creamier the better, see note 1
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • About 1 tsp chilli flakes aka red pepper flakes, see note 2
  • 50g red capsicum, finely diced aka bell pepper, roughly 1 "cheek" or 1/4 of a capsicum, see note 3
  • Pinch of salt see note 4
Steps
  1. Mix ingredients - using a small food processor (see note) pulse the feta, yoghurt, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and oregano and chilli flakes until it reaches your desired consistency. I make this as a coarse dip, but process it how you would like.
  2. Add capsicum - Stir through the diced capsicum and add a pinch of salt at a time if you feel that it needs it.
  3. Serve with crackers or pita bread, or as part of a charcuterie board.
Notes
  1. Feta - where possible use PDO Greek feta. Feta comes in different textures from semi-soft to hard, try to get a softer feta because it will be creamier. Depending on the firmness of your feta, you might need to add more Greek yoghurt.
  2. Chilli flakes - I use chilli flakes because it allows you to more easily control the heat level in the dip. I suggest adding half the chilli before blending and then taste and adjust accordingly. If you have Fresh chilli you want to use, go for it and don't add the capsicum - I suggest removing the seeds from the fresh chilli if you choose to use it, because it will make the dip gritty.
  3. Capsicum - because we use chilli flakes in this recipe, the capsicum brings a sweetness that fresh chilli would ordinarily bring. Dice this as finely as you can. For the default serving, you need 50g which is roughly 1 cheek of an average capsicum
  4. Salt - Feta is a salty cheese but the amount of salt does vary between brands and the yoghurt and other ingredients will also dilute the salt. If it tastes a little flat, stir through a pinch of salt at a time.
  5. Food processor - I make this in the bowl that my stick blender came with which is the perfect size. You could also use a blender, food processor or just use a bowl with a fork to mash the feta and combine with the other ingredients. Use what you have!

Hey, I'm Sam! Welcome to The Aproneer.

I created The Aproneer to share the recipes that my family and friends love to eat.

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