Qurabiya (also ghraybe, ghorayeba, and numerous other spellings and pronunciations) is a shortbread-type biscuit, usually made with ground almonds. Versions are found in most countries of the former Ottoman Empire, with various different forms and recipes.[1][2]

Kurabiyes in the form of medialuna
Crescent shaped qurabiya
Alternative namesghraybe, ghorayeba, gourabia; Greece: kourabiedes, kourabiethes, kurabie; Morocco: ghoriba, ghouribi, ghribi[1][2]
Main ingredientsAlmond flour, sugar, egg white, vanilla


Cookies appear to have their origins in 7th century Persia, modern day Iran, shortly after the use of sugar became relatively common in the region.[3] A recipe for a shortbread cookie similar to ghorayebah but without almonds, called in Arabic khushkanānaj gharib (exotic cookie), is given in the earliest known Arab cookbook, the 10th-century Kitab al-Ṭabīḫ.[4] Kurabiye appears in the Ottoman cuisine in the 15th century.[5]

There is some debate about the origin of the words. Some give no other origin for the Turkish word kurabiye than Turkish, while others have given Arabic or Persian.[5] Among others, linguist Sevan Nişanyan has given an Arabic origin, in his 2009 book of Turkish etymology, from ġurayb or ğarîb (exotic).[6][7] However, as of 2019, Nişanyan's online dictionary now gives the earliest known recorded use in Turkish as the late 17th century, with an origin from the Persian gulābiya, a cookie made with rose water, from gulāb, related to flowers. He notes that the Syrian Arabic words ġurābiye/ġuraybiye likely derive from the Turkish.[8]

Regional variations


Iranian qurabiye from Tabriz

In Tabriz, they are made of almond flour, sugar, egg white, vanilla, margarine and pistachio. It is served with tea, customarily placed on top of the teacup to make it soft before eating.

A Box of Qurabiya by Nobari Confectionary (Tehran, Iran)
A Box of Qurabiya by Nobari Confectionary (Tehran, Iran)


Called ghoriba in Morocco and other parts of the Maghreb, the popular cookies often use semolina instead of white flour, giving a distinctive crunch.[1][2]


Kourabiedes platter 2008 01 08

The Greek version, called kourabiedes or kourabiethes[1][2] (Greek: κουραμπιέδες) resembles a light shortbread, typically made with almonds. Kourabiedes are sometimes made with brandy, usually Metaxa, for flavouring, though vanilla, mastika or rose water are also popular. In some regions of Greece, Christmas kourabiedes are adorned with a single whole spice clove embedded in each biscuit.[9] Kourabiedes are shaped either into crescents or balls, then baked till slightly golden. They are usually rolled in icing sugar while still hot, forming a rich butter-sugar coating.[10] Kourabiedes are especially popular for special occasions, such as Christmas or baptisms.


Kurabii name of the Bulgarian cuisine and the many varieties of cookie, a popular sweet variety. Especially during the holiday season, and a variety of jams produced via the new year with powdered sugar cookies decorated with cute shapes are called maslenki.


In Turkey, Acıbadem kurabiyesi are widely available in bakeries.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Davidson, Alan (21 August 2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780191040726 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c d Marks, Gil (17 November 2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. HMH. ISBN 9780544186316 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "History of Cookies - Cookie History". Whatscookingamerica.net. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  4. ^ Nasrallah, Nawal (26 November 2007). Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq's Tenth-Century Baghdadi Cookbook. BRILL. pp. 418, 569. ISBN 9789047423058 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b Muhammed bin Mahmûd-ı Şirvânî (2005). 15. yüzyıl Osmanlı mutfağı. Gökkubbe. p. 259. ISBN 978-975-6223-84-0.
  6. ^ Nişanyan, Sevan (2009). Sözlerin soyağacı: çağdaş Türkçenin etimolojik sözlüğü. Everest Yayınları. ISBN 9789752896369 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Salloum, Habeeb (25 June 2013). Sweet Delights from a Thousand and One Nights: The Story of Traditional Arab Sweets. I.B.Tauris. p. 128. ISBN 9780857733412 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Nişanyan, Sevan. "Kurabiye". Nişanyan Sözlük. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  9. ^ Sam Sotiropoulos (2009-12-23). "Greek Food Recipes and Reflections, Toronto, Ontario, Canada". Greekgourmand.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  10. ^ "Irene's Kourabiedes (Kourabiethes) (Greek Butter Cookies)". Thursdayfordinner.com. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
Almond biscuit

An almond biscuit, or almond cookie, is a type of biscuit that is made with almonds. They are a common biscuit in many different cuisines, and take many forms.

Types of almond biscuits include almond macaroons, Spanish almendrados, qurabiya (a shortbread biscuit made with almonds), and Turkish acıbadem kurabiyesi. In addition, Turkish şekerpare are often decorated with an almond.

In Norway, sandkaker are a type of almond cookie that are baked in fluted tins.

Ash reshteh

Ash reshteh (Persian: آش رشته‎) is a type of āsh (Iranian thick soup) featuring reshteh (thin noodles), kashk (a whey-like, fermented dairy product), commonly made in Iran and Azerbaijan.

There are more than 50 types of thick soup (āsh) in Iranian cooking, this being one of the more popular types.The ingredients used are reshteh (thin noodles), kashk (a whey-like, fermented dairy product), herbs such as parsley, spinach, dill, spring onion ends and sometimes coriander, chick peas, black eye beans, lentils, onions, flour, dried mint, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. This is a soup that is vegetarian but can easily be made vegan by omitting the kashk; alternatively, meat can be added.

Traditional Ash reshteh is served at special Iranian events, like Nowruz, Sizdah be-dar or during winter time. The noodles are supposed to symbolize good fortune for the new year.

Azerbaijani pakhlava

Azerbaijani pakhlava (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Paxlavası), or simply Pakhlava, is an integral part of those sweets, which are made in Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan for Nowruz holiday, but it is not baked only for holidays. Yeasty pastry, hazelnuts or Circassian walnut, milled clove, cardamom, saffron are used for preparation of pakhlava. Milled nuts and sugar are used for stuffing.


Fasolada, fasoulada or sometimes fasolia (Arabic: فاصوليا), (Greek: φασολάδα, φασουλάδα or φασόλια) is a Greek, Levantine, and Cypriot soup of dry white beans, olive oil, and vegetables, sometimes called the "national food of the Greeks".Its counterpart in Turkish cuisine is called kuru fasulye. The Arabic version is called fasoulia (Arabic: فاصوليا‎) and is found in Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Fasolada is made by simmering beans with tomatoes and other vegetables such as carrots, onion, parsley, celery, and bay leaf. Lima beans are sometimes used instead of white beans. Recipes vary considerably.

It is often enriched with olive oil either in the kitchen or on the table.

Unlike the Italian fagiolata, the Brazilian and Portuguese feijoada, Romanian fasole and the Spanish fabada, fasolada does not contain meat.


Fatayer (Arabic: فطاير‎) is a Middle Eastern meat pie that can alternatively be stuffed with spinach (Arabic: sabanekh), or cheese (Arabic: jibnah) such as Feta or Akkawi. It is part of Arab cuisine and is eaten in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel.


A ghoriba (Arabic: غريبة‎, also spelled ghribia, ghraïba, or ghriyyaba) is a type of cookie prepared in the Maghreb and other parts of the Arab world. It is a round, shortbread cookie made with flour, sugar, butter, and usually almonds. It is often served with Arabic coffee or Maghrebi mint tea. Ghoriba sometimes pronounce as Ghurayba, has been around in the Greater Syria area, Iraq and other Arab countries since ancient times. They are similar to polvorones from Andalusia and qurabiya from Iran.

Ghormeh sabzi

Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian: قورمه‌ سبزی‎) (also spelled as Qormeh Sabzi) is an Iranian herb stew. It is a very popular dish in Iran.

Gosh-e Fil

Gosh-e fil (Persian: گُوش فيل) is an Afghan and Iranian doughnut made by shaping dough into the shape of an ear (gosh), and deep-fried in oil. Each shape is then topped with chopped pistachios and powdered sugar. The Afghans usually make gosh-e fil for Eid ul-Fitr (religious celebration).


Kalle Joosh (Persian: کله‌جوش‎) or Kaljoosh (Persian: کلجوش) a typical Persian āsh which includes meat (optional), kashk, green lentils, white beet (collected from the mountains) and chickpeas.


Kourabiedes or Kourabiethes (Greek: κουραμπιέδες, singular: κουραμπιές, kourabies) – also known as "Greek Wedding Cookies" – are Greek biscuits or cookie popular in Greece, Cyprus, and Greek communities in Anatolia, as well as across the Greek diaspora in the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa and nations.


Kömbe (Turkish, Azerbaijani: Kömbə) is a kind of börek from Hatay, Turkey. It exists in both the cuisine of Turkey and that of Azerbaijan and is popular among both Turkish and Azerbaijani people.


Ma'amoul (Arabic: معمول‎ [mɑʕmuːl] (listen), also spelled m'aamoul, m'amul, m'aamul) is an ancient Arab filled pastry or cookie made with dates, nuts such as pistachios or walnuts and occasionally almonds, or figs. They may be in the shape of balls, domed or flattened cookies. They can either be decorated by hand or be made in special wooden moulds. Ma'amoul with date fillings are often known as menenas, and are sometimes made in the form of date rolls rather than balls or cookies.Ma'amoul are usually made a few days before Christmas, Easter, or Eid, then stored to be served with Arabic coffee and chocolate to guests who come during the holiday. It is popular throughout the Arab world, especially in Levant.


Muhammara (Arabic: محمرة‎ "reddened") or mhammara is a hot pepper dip originally from Aleppo, Syria, found in Levantine and Turkish cuisines. In western Turkey, muhammara is referred to as acuka.


Mujaddara (Arabic: مجدرة‎ mujadarah, with alternative spellings in English majadra, mejadra, moujadara, mudardara, and megadarra) consists of cooked lentils together with groats, generally rice, and garnished with sauté onions.


Qottab (Persian: قطاب‎ qottâb) is an almond-filled deep-fried Iranian cuisine pastry or cake, prepared with flour, almonds, powdered sugar, vegetable oil, and cardamom. The city of Yazd is well known for its qottab.


Sangak (Persian: سنگک‎, Azerbaijani: səngək) or nân-e sangak (Persian: نان سنگک‎) is a plain, rectangular, or triangular Iranian whole wheat leavened flatbread.

Sohan Asali

Sohan Asali (Persian: سوهان عسلی; Asal means honey) is a kind of Iranian cuisine pastry or candy. It is made of honey, sugar, saffron, almond or other nuts and cooking oil.

Tabrizi Lovuez

Tabrizi Lovuez (Tabriz Diamonds) are diamond-shaped confectioneries from Tabriz, a provincial capital in Northwest of Iran. Its main ingredients are sugar, almond powder, and saffron.


Toum or Toumya (Levantine Arabic: ْتُوم "garlic") is a garlic sauce common to the Levant. Similar to the Provençal aioli, it contains garlic, salt, olive oil or vegetable oil, and lemon juice, traditionally crushed together using a wooden mortar and pestle. There is also a variation popular in many places, such as the town of Zgharta, in Lebanon, where mint is added; it is called "zeit wa toum" (oil and garlic).Toum is used as a dip, especially with French fries and chicken, and in Levantine sandwiches, especially those containing chicken.

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