Ghorayeba ~ Arab Shortbread Cookies



I can’t mention how relieved I am. My blogging mojo has just not picked up as much as I would have loved. Last year Ramadan, if I filled my drafts with as much as clicks I could take before the sunshine vanishes, this year, I have done nothing. My blog is moving with drafts that I had clicked last Ramadan – I am being very honest here! This Ramadan, I have been time tight and locked. Over and above that, I have no mood to click anything new or cook anything new. I am sure, this too shall pass…


So when I put up the Muslim Food Blogger challenge post for this month, which is based on the theme “Eid Specials from Around the World”, I searched up a bit and pinned up on my kitchen notice board the easiest cookie recipe in the world! But I procrastinated over it till early last week, and finally got making it the night before my parents landed. The next day, a terrible migraine and lack of sleep pushed me to take an off and I was able to click decent pictures in sunlight. Alhamdulillah, at least I didn’t miss it… ๐Ÿ™‚


Ghorayeba/ Ghoraiba – called in so many names! – are shortbread cookies that are baked in the African subcontinent for every special occasion, including Eid. Most of the recipe told me that they originated in Egypt, but I found that they have similar versions in other African countries like Sudan too. These are also called “sand cookies” because of its crumbly, melt-in-mouth texture. These cookies are baked in large batches for Eid, for distributing it to neighbors and for guests to devour. I can truly understand when it is said that the households have a hard time hiding these from the kids so that they don’t disappear as soon as it comes out of the oven!




There is a reason I called it “the easiest” – it has just three main ingredients! No flavorings, no strings attached – such a super easy recipe. The whole crux of the cookie is ghee. You don’t even need an egg in this cookie. Top it with whatever you like – I used pistachios here, and it is ready to go. My girls couldn’t even hold the cookie well as it kept crumbling and making a mess, but they totally loved how fast the whole cookie just created so many flavors in the mouth and melted into the tummy.


As usual, I made huge cookies and it took time to bake. I realized it much later that they are supposed to be tiny cookies. I have a thing for big sizes, because I am one myself! ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you go through the notes, you will find how I made it and how I have mentioned in the recipe to make it easier and better looking for you. ๐Ÿ™‚


Before I move onto the recipe, just a mention of the Eid Eats 2018 that is being hosted by Hennaย (remember, she was my guest last month!), Sarah and Asiya like they have been doing all these years. I really didn’t want to miss posting this time, since I have contributed in the previous years, but they were always separate posts, but this time, I clubbed it with the challenge post, as it is meant for Eid. Their linky tool will be open till June 17, ie. till Eid ends, so in case you are able to participate, don’t forget to hop in! Here’s what I shared in the previous years:

2014 โ€“ย Quick Semiya Payasam/ Vermicelli Kheer

2015 โ€“ย Kaithachakka Chawwari Payasam ~ Pineapple Sago Kheer

2016 โ€“ย Ethapazham Madhura Curry ~ Ripe Plantain Lentil Sweet Curry

2017 – Dum Aaloo Biriyani





4.75 from 4 votes

Ghorayeba ~ Arab Shortbread Cookies

Course Cookies
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda


  • 1/2 cup ghee soft
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • Pistachios for topping


  • Beat the ghee till fluffy.
  • Add the sugar and beat till combined.
  • Finally beat in the flour till there are no streaks.
  • Plop the dough onto a cling film and shape like a roll. Store in the fridge for an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking sheet.
  • Take out and cut into 1/4 inch thick roundels. Place on the sheet and top with a pistachio.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes till golden brown. Cool on wire rack.


If the ghee is liquid, keep in the fridge till it softens.
I didn't do the rolling method. I kept the bowl with the dough in the fridge, took it out and rolled by hand. It was slightly messy. It was later I figured out that you could do this way, and it would give you smaller, cuter looking cookies.
I topped with pistachios - you can use almonds, some use cloves and sometimes leave it plain!
The bigger the cookies, the more it takes to bake. I baked mine for 35 minutes to settle.
They don't spread much since there are no leavening agents, so you can place the cookies closer to each other.


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Linking this post to Eid Eats 2018 (#eideats2018) hosted by Chai and Churros, Flour and Spice and Chocolate and Chillies… (is it just a coincidence that all three blogs have an “and” in between??? ๐Ÿ˜€ )





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Join the Conversation

  1. Hey Rafee, first I thought of posting these cookies recipe but then I stuck to my momโ€™s special curry. Looks very beautiful…

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Zareena…

  2. mashaallah cookies looks so beautiful….Advance EID mubarak

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      JazakAllah Khair Nisa…

  3. 4 stars
    wow! looks so great! and white.. yum!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Veena…

  4. Just a few of ingredients…awesome!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Angie…

  5. Looks lovely! Something that I am going to try for sure! Take care..

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Pankti…

  6. they look so delish

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks Gloria…

  7. if i leave a recipe in my drafts for that long I would forget the rcipe
    Hope you get our mojo back soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Haha… I do keep visiting them often… ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks a lot Vinee…

  8. 5 stars
    These look lovely and sound so much like shortbread but made with ghee! I’ve never baked with ghee but am intrigued now!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Sarah…

  9. 5 stars
    Oh Rafeeda! Such a wonderful choice for Eid! I’ve never tried Ghoraibeh, but I’ve been told that it is similar to our Desi Nan Khatai.
    Lovely photos, lovely recipe, and I’m sure your parents and daughters were delighted to have these beauties to munch on before/after their fasts!
    Thank you again my dear friend for participating in Eid Eats! You have been a constant companion all of these years!
    Hope you have a wonderful Eid inshAllah! <3

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Henna… yes, they are so similar to our Nan Khatais but I feel far more softer and crumblier…

  10. 5 stars
    These look delicious. Plus just 4 ingredients. Such a simple recipe. Bookmarking for the future.
    Eid Mubarak.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Kiran…

  11. These melt in mouth cookies look gorgeous…Lovely clicks too ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Ruxana… ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Love the simplicity of these cookies! They remind me of Nan Khatai! Thank you so much for participating…you’ve been a constant support since the first year of Eid Eats! I hope you and your family had a lovely Eid.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Asiya… hope you had a great Eid too!

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