Bishi or Zing-a-Ling, the Armenian Zeppoli (or Pancake)

Margie, a reader from PA., had a special request for me – to help find a recipe her grandmother used to make. The recipe, bishi, is deep-fried dough — lighter than donuts, more like a crueller sprinkled with sugar.

When I consulted Doug, we decided it sounded a lot like the Zing-a-Ling recipe his mother and my grandmother used to make. Great, I thought, but I didn’t have the recipe. He suggested asking cousin Alice Bakalian.

Within a few hours of my e-mail, Alice responded in disbelief. She said she was given the Zing-a-Ling recipe in 1987 from her husband’s cousin Rosie but never made it until one week before my request, when Rosie paid her a visit.

She was shocked at the timing of my request. What a coincidence! Alice immediately mailed me a copy of the recipe.

In the meantime, I was curious to see if anyone out in computer-land had a recipe for bishi – or zing-a-ling. The answer……of course! I found a recipe for Bishi, the “Armenian Zeppoli” at sent in by a person named Manoushag. It was her grandmother’s recipe using yeast, flour, eggs, etc.

I sent Margie this website/recipe information. Much to her delight, it was exactly what she was looking for! The recipe from cousin Alice was very similar.

Thanks, Margie, for your inquiry and gracious participation!

This recipe is a slight variation of the recipe from cousin Alice Bakalian.

Bishi or Zing-a-Ling

Bishi, is deep-fried dough — lighter than donuts, more like a crueller sprinkled with sugar.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Servings 4 people


  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¾ cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • vegetable oil (for frying)


  • Dissolve yeast and sugar in ¾ cup water.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, and eggs in a bowl. Stir in yeast mixture until blended.  Let stand 20 minutes to allow mixture to thicken and rise.
  • Heat vegetable oil, such as Mazola, in a deep fryer to 375°F.
  • Test with a small amount of dough. Drop dough in hot oil, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Fry until golden brown all around.
  • After frying, drain on paper towels, then dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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  1. Robyn March 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    According to CK Garabed's cousin Arpie Dadoyan, "zing-a-ling" is actually "znglig", or fried dough.

  2. Anonymous August 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    we always called this 'lokmah'.

  3. karin August 24, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    yes lokma , its so good !!!

  4. Anonymous December 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Lokhma is great, I love it but Bishi is not Lokhma…my Grandmother used to make Bishi, it was a dough that she used to roll out butter and roll out again making several layers of buttered dough and then used to fry it in butter on stove top drizzered with simple sugar at the end….I wish I had her receipe but I sure remember the taste it's imbeded in my mind!! She was Agentzi any one out there with that receipe??

  5. Anonymous May 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Well, Lokma was,for us, a batter cooked in deep oil. It took different shapes as it was cooked. It was eaten dipped in sugar or jam.
    Zungelic was bread dipped in beaten egg and deep fried, also eaten with sugar or jam. Mama being Adanatsi, papa Dicranagetsi. R.Charshafian

  6. Anonymous May 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Whenever I try ti make this is always turns out to runny, even though I followed this recipe. Help please? 😉

    1. Robyn May 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      Dear Anon,
      Next time, try adding a bit more flour to make the batter a little thicker. Also, I found that when making this on a humid day, the results aren't as good.
      Hope this helps!

    2. Anonymous May 30, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Hey Robyn.
      Thanks for your help. I will definitaly try this.

      Thanks heaps 🙂

  7. Anonymous June 18, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Ahh! So its like a mixture btwn a Mexican buñuelo and a Samoan panikeke…interesting

  8. Reddz May 15, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    This a basic fried donut

    1. Robyn Kalajian May 21, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      Well, yes, but no hole in the center – and – better than the usual doughnut!

  9. Valerie Anne April 7, 2019 at 12:20 am

    I am manushag. I posted the original recipe on recipezaar. It is now
    Recipe calls for yeast or baking powder not both. It is bishi or also known as lokhma. (The flat pancake one is called ghatmer, according to my Armenian cookbook. Batter should be thicker than pancake batter after rising. Drop by tablespoons in hot oil. They will puff up and brown pretty quickly so watch them. More tender than zeppoles!

    1. Robyn Kalajian April 14, 2019 at 8:23 pm

      Thank you for the update!


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