In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in the butter until it is in pieces no larger than peas. Mix in water 1 tablespoon at a time just until the mixture is wet enough to form into a ball. The dough should be a firm consistency. Knead briefly.
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Break off pieces of the dough and shape into a patty - kind of like a flat biscuit. Place just enough of the dumplings in the pan so they are not crowded. Fry on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels before serving.