Petulla AKA Fried Dough
October 25th, 2010|Filed Under Dessert, Recipes

petulla fried dough social chef1 600x428 Petulla AKA Fried DoughMany parents pass down the same traditions to their children as their parents did to them. These traditions range from the meaningful (a piece of jewelry worn on your wedding day) to the absurd (putting garlic in your underwear to ward off the evil eye). Not sure why my mom thinks the cure for mental illness and diabetes is marriage, but I digress…

As we mature into adults, we may cast aside some of these traditions. But there is one that we can’t let go of, and that’s food. The smell of a dish can bring you right back to amazing memories of your youth.

Growing up, I remember my mother teaching my sisters how to cook traditional Albanian food. It was kind of like a prep school for being a good wife. They listened, learned and tried their best. One of my sisters forgot everything she learned because she moved in with her husband’s family right after marriage, she let her mother-in-law handle the cooking, and my other sister didn’t get married until she was the ripe old age of 28. My poor mother wasted countless hours of her life training them.

I have particularly fond memories of my mother making Petulla. It’s very similar to the Italian version of fried dough. You can eat it with powdered sugar, but my personal favorite is with feta cheese and raspberry jam or fresh raspberries. I asked both my sisters how to make it but neither remembered. One of my sisters uses store bought pizza dough to save time. Luckily, my mother is close by and she was able to pass on the recipe for this delicious sweet and savory dish.

Recipe: Petulla AKA Fried Dough


  • 2 Teaspoons Yeast
  • 1/4 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • Vegetable Oil


  1. Combine the water and yeast in a bowl and let sit for five minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients except the flour and oil. Once combined, add in the flour in batches, mixing in between. Once fully mixed, cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rest for two hours.
  2. Fill a large pot halfway up with the vegetable oil and heat until it reaches 350 degrees. With a large spoon, scoop out some dough and drop it in the hot oil. Repeat until you have 4 to 6 dough balls in the pot and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Once nice and brown, remove and place on paper towels to let drain. Serve with powdered sugar or feta cheese and raspberry jam.

Number of servings (yield): 12

Meal type: dessert

Microformatting by hRecipe.

11 Responses to “Petulla AKA Fried Dough”

  1. Blerta says:

    My favorite!
    this should make it in the magazine :)

  2. Raquim says:

    going to surprise my Albanian girlfriend with these, hopefully shes impressed <3

  3. Lumi says:

    my poor mother tried to teach me how to make these too but she could never give me exact measurements. gotta try these!

  4. Astrid says:

    Beautiful! I sit on my hands all week waiting for next post, I love the story as much as the recipe. There’s another blog devoted to minimal cooking which also has very good and simple recipes like yours, but nearly as funny.

  5. Dea says:

    ah the memories….love the petulla…and everytime there is San Gennaro festival in the city I hope to find a zeppoli nearest to our petulla,but…not even close…I always end up disappointed and try to recall the recipe hidden somewhere along the lines …If you eat the petulla, your cheeks can be just as tasty!!! ahh..but now, thanks to you I have the recipe. Thanks! And btw – my cheeks – are just as tasty ;)

  6. Sid says:

    All my wife does is play on facebook. Me and the kids are starving!

  7. Bek says:

    mmm….. Definitely an Albanian Staple… simple to make, but so tasty.

  8. Belle says:

    Yummy!! It’s been a long time since I’ve had petulla and reading this post reminded me of the days my mom would made them. I love eating them with feta cheese, such a great combo!

  9. Mmmmm, nothing is better than some good ol’ fried dough! I have never had this type before though!

  10. Beba says:

    You are basically a genius and my hero. Aside from being a world famous chef, I think you should look into writing a book of memoirs/short stories because your humor translates soo well into your writing it’s unbelievable! I want to be just like you when I grow up Petrit!!!

  11. Lily says:

    OMG! this made me so happy, I go to college in Italy therefore do not get my mom’s cooking very often, for the most part she teaches me when I am back in the u.s., but i never asked for this recipe. It seems a bit different from the way she made them with the addition of the vanilla but i think thats why i enjoyed them so much more! THANKS!

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