Lekváros derelye

by | Mar 19, 2021 | Noodles

Derelye is a classic noodle dish, which appeared in the Hungarian cuisine during the 17th century. It resembles the Italian ravioli and the Polish pierogi, though it’s filled with plum butter or sweetened cottage cheese instead of meat, veggies or cheese and coated in toasted breadcrumbs.

The word derelye popped up first in a cookbook in 1786, six years later in 1792 a similar recipe was published that bore the name barátfüle. According to ethnographic researches barátfüle is the synonym of derelye, but if you ask the folk, many of them will say that derelye and barátfüle are not the same, because their dough and shape differ. I think justice can’t be done in this case, everyone is right.

If you search for a derelye recipe, you won’t find one that stands above all because every Hungarian family has its own version. Dough and shape – these are the two components that generally alter in the recipes. Derelye can be made from two kinds of dough: some people make derelye using a potato dough (like in case of plum jam dumplings and nudli), others swear by pasta dough.

Besides dough derelye’s shape is the other thing, which can generate a debate. It can be square, triangle or half-circle. You can roll out your dough with a rolling pin or by putting it through a pasta machine. You can decide to cut out and fill the dumplings one by one, or you can prepare them with the fast and simple technique I show you below. No matter how you make it, if your dumplings are flat and filled with jam or cottage cheese, they can be called derelye.

Lekváros derelye from potato dough
Derelye from potato dough – photo: zserbo.com
Derelye with plum butter from pasta dough
Derelye with plum butter from pasta dough – photo: zserbo.com

As I have written above, derelye can be made from potato dough and from plain pasta dough too. It’s up to you which one you choose. Here you can find the recipe of both doughs.


For the potato dough:

  • 500 g (~1 lb + 1 2/3 oz) potatoes
  • 15 g (~1 tbsp) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 150 g (~1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp semolina
  • pinch of salt

Boil potatoes with their skin on. Once they are tender, peel and press them through a potato ricer. Add butter and mix until well combined. Set aside and let it cool completely. When it’s cool, add egg, flour, semolina and salt, and knead until smooth and pliable.

For the pasta dough:

  • 500 g (~4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 200 ml (~3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp) water

Place all ingredients in a bowl and knead into a smooth dough.

For the filling:

  • plum butter

For the coating:

  • 50 g (~1/4 cup) butter
  • 220 g (~1 3/4 cups + 1 1/2 tbsp) breadcrumbs

Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form balls. On a floured surface roll out a dough ball into a thin rectangel, then place batches of plum butter on half of the surface leaving some space between them.

Making derelye step 1
photo: zserbo.com

Lay the blank part of the dough over the fillings, and starting from the top press the dough with your fingertips and squeeze excess air from the dumplings.

Making derelye step 2
photo: zserbo.com
Making derelye step 3
photo: zserbo.com

Once the flat dumplings are sealed, cut them into squares. Place them on a lightly floured tray or wooden board and set aside.

Making derelye step 4
photo: zserbo.com

Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile in a frying pan heat butter and toast breadcrumbs until golden brown.

Once the water is boiling, depending on the size of your pot drop half or one-third of the dumplings gently into the water. Wait until they come to the surface and the water boils again. Cook derelye for 2-3 minutes, then with a slotted spoon transfer them in the toasted breadcrumbs and coat them evenly. Place the coated flat dumplings in a bowl. Repeat the process until all the dumplings are done. Serve hot and feel free to dust your derelye with powdered sugar.

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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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