|Alternative names||ghraybe, ghorayeba, gourabia; Greece: kourabiedes, kourabiethes, kurabie; Morocco: ghoriba, ghouribi, ghribi|
|Main ingredients||Almond flour, sugar, egg white, vanilla|
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.
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. 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. Kurabiye appears in the Ottoman cuisine in the 15th century.[dubious ]
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. Among others, linguist Sevan Nişanyan has given an Arabic origin, in his 2009 book of Turkish etymology, from ġurayb or ğarîb (exotic). 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.
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.
The Greek version, called kourabiedes or kourabiethes (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. 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. 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.