Thursday, May 30, 2013

Penerli (Fried Cheese Boreg – or Armenian Fried Ravioli)

I have been remiss in posting a recipe for Penerli, a fried cheese boreg, sent to me ages ago from Mark Gavoor, an occasional reader of our blog/website and self-proclaimed eater. (Forgive me, Mark!) 

He suggested we preserve and document this amazing recipe. I intended to prepare the recipe in order to have a photo to attach, but fried foods and I don’t get along, and the opportunity to make it for others never came to be. 

Since I am not one to let a delicious-sounding recipe fall by the wayside, I am posting it sans photo. However, if a penerli photo becomes available, I will include it at a later date.
Mark Gavoor- Photo credit: Lola Koundakjian
Gavoor, a musician and poet, played a gig with his band a while back at St. Hagop Church, Racine, Wisconsin, where, he said they make and sell an amazing cheese puff/beoreg called ‘penerli’.  

Mark sent me the following recipe, saying:
“The recipe is in the very well done and historical cook book from St. Hagop Church, 4100 N Newman Rd, Racine, WI   53406.  Daughters and granddaughters lovingly provided a bio. and photo of their mother and grandmother along with the recipe the 1st generation lady was best known for.  Miranie Munagian’s specialty was Penerli. Here it is and it is quite simple.  I hope I am not wasting your time but the deep frying does make it quite tasty when eaten immediately.”

Penerli (Fried Cheese Boreg – or Armenian Fried Ravioli!)

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup warm water
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour

1 lb. brick cheese
5-6 sprigs parsley chopped

Melt butter and add warm water.  Mix in eggs and salt.  Add flour gradually and knead until flour is (workable), ~5-10 mins.  Let rest, covered with plastic for about an hour.  Place dough on floured surface and roll out to about 36" in diameter.   Grate brick cheese, add chopped parsley and mix.  Place cheese mixture in mounds on half of the rolled out dough.  Bring the other half over the mounds of cheese and cut out squares or circles (whatever you prefer).  Crimp edges with fork or fingers.
Deep fry in (hot vegetable) oil. (Brown on both sides.)  Drain on paper towels.  Enjoy.


  1. To make a quick version, use wonton skins. Add the filling, close the wonton to either create a triangle or a cylinder. Use water or a little egg white to make the long edge stick (if you are forming a cylinder). Crimp the edges with a fork. Fry.

    It does not have the same flavor as freshly made dough, but if you're running late and have to make 300 of these...

    1. Ara, what a brilliant time-saving solution; thanks!
      Question...did you have to make 300 of these?!?

  2. Robyn and Doug

    Thanks for the kudos and posting this simple, magical, penerli recipe.

    And yes... I am an Armenian foodie.

    Keep up the great website.


  3. I will take a photo at the St. Hagop Madagh picnic at the end of this month for you.


  4. Armenian Penerlee is made with 2 boxes of Phyllo dough, clarified butter, shredded Jack cheese or Havarti, and parsley. You use dough and butter as you would if you were making Paklava. One box of leaves on bottom , the cheese and parley in the middle, and one box of dough on top. Cut and bake.

  5. I love this picture of Mark which I took during one of our "Dead Armenian Poets Society" gatherings in NYC.

    Best regards, Lola Koundakjian, NY

    1. Hi Lola,
      I had no idea you were the photographer - credit to you is now mentioned under Mark's photo. Thanks for letting me know!