Dödölle, mostly known from a popular children’s song, is a traditional Hungarian meat-free meal, which is very filling and cheap. Hence, it was almost an everyday dish in older times: people only had to go out to the garden to get the ingredients. It is still popular all over Hungary, however, it has several variations.

It is believed that even picky kids love it: they first take a liking for the song and then the meal. It is quick and easy to make, it tastes delicious and it is very filling. The icing on the cake is that it is also cheap.

Éliás, Tóbiás, egy tál dödölle,                    Elias, Tobias, one pot of dödölle,

Ettél belőle.                                                     You had some of it.

Kertbe mentek a tyúkok,                             The hens went out to the garden,

Mind megették a magot.                             And ate all the seeds.

It’s no surprise that its consumption was almost an everyday activity in older times: all ingredients grew in the garden.

The key ingredient is the potato, therefore the first step to this lovely dish was the discovery of the New World and the spread of the vegetable. According to netfolk.blog.hu, before that, our ancestors mostly ate mushes made from wheat, rye, corn and millet. They flavoured the mushes with lard, sour cream, cottage cheese and crackling, or sugar and jam when consumed as dessert.

Photo: www.facebook.com/KanizsaiBorésDödölleFesztivál

The word “dödölle” was first written down in 1792. The potato mush became thicker than the normal mushes, but the list of “toppings” didn’t change much. Queen Maria Theresa indirectly facilitated the birth of the meal since she was the one who ordained the cultivation and consumption of potatoes in Hungary to combat famine.

What’s also quite interesting is that its name differs by regions. It is called dödölle in most places, but it is also referred to as krumpligánica in Zala and Vas County, gánica in Baranya and Somogy County, gáncá in Palóc Land, cinke in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County. Moreover, if someone says pipice or chamulya, they also mean something very similar.

According to magyarkonyhaonline.hu, it is said that hare-lipped, blunt-witted people were called “dölle, döddö” in folk slang which resonates with the simplicity of the meal.

Just like in the case of many traditional meals, the aim was to come up with a filling but cheap creation. Dödölle is a simple village-dish, which can be consumed as a separate meal or as a garnish.

The secret to its popularity is probably the diversity and that it is basically a quick-change artist: you can make anything out of it or with it. It can be a delicious one-pot meal, a garnish on the side of magnificent main courses or even a great dessert base.

Photo: www.cookta.hu/SimonDorina

The onetime meal of the poor slowly made it onto the menus of illustrious restaurants as well. We’d like to share the recipe of Master Chef József Prikryl, who dazzles guests with dödölle wonders in Keszthely.


  • 800 grams of potatoes (floury type)
  • 300 grams of flour
  • 60 grams of lard
  • 2 onions
  • salt


Peal and wash the potatoes, then cut them up into similar cubes and start cooking them in salty water (as much water as is needed to cover the potatoes). After they have softened, mash them.

Place the pot over low heat and slowly add the flour. The goal is for the potatoes to “take up” the flour. Mix until this happens and you reach such a thick consistency that you can barely knead it any more. It’s a great arm workout 😉

Let your dough cool down a bit. In a separate pan, melt the lard and sauté the chopped up onions until golden. Tear the dough into small rolls and roast them on some lard in a separate pan. Right before they turn a beautiful golden colour, add the onions and mix them all together. Serve your dödölle as it is or with any topping you like.


+ Here’s a recipe video by NoSalty, in which dödölle is spiced up with bacon

Featured image: www.facebook.com/KanizsaiBorésDödölleFesztivál

Source: Daily News Hungary

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