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Kleicha (Arabic: الكليجة‎) may be considered the national cookie of Iraq. Kleicha come in several traditional shapes and fillings. The most popular are the ones filled with dates (kleichat tamur). There are also sweet discs (khfefiyyat), as well as half moons filled with nuts, sugar and/or desiccated coconut (kleichat joz).

Kleicha
Kleicha.jpg
TypeCookie
Place of originIraq
Region or stateIraq
Main ingredientsCardamom or rose water

They are usually flavored with cardamom and sometimes rose water, and glazed with egg wash, which may sometimes be scented and coloured with saffron.

Assyrians bake Kilecheh on Eeda Gura, Easter, and Eeda Sura, Christmas, in which they are usually stuffed with dates and served with tea.[1]

A Turkish version is called Klija Kurabiyesi and is a sweet disc or filled with almonds, hazelnuts and sugar. It is also flavored with rose water and orange blossom water and glazed with egg wash.

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EtymologyEdit

The ancient Babylonians were known to make similar cookies called qullupu, which were known to be round in shape (qullu), also taking note that the modern term for Kleicha derives from the Semitic kull meaning whole, and the Greek kolo meaning circle, and kuklus meaning, wheel.[2]

HistoryEdit

Kleicha traces its roots to the Ancient Mesopotamian qullupu, which was known by the Babylonians as moon-shaped cookies. Since ancient times, Kleicha was often made in kitchens, palaces and bazaars.

According to the local narrative of Nawal Nasrallah, qullupu was made and offered to her when religious festivals were held.

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See alsoEdit