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Title: Kleicha  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Iraqi cuisine, Ma'amoul, Iraqis, List of cookies, Arab cuisine
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Type Cookie
Place of origin Iraq
Main ingredients Cardamom or rose water

Kleicha (Arabic: الكليچة‎) 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).

They are usually flavored with cardamom and sometimes rose water, and glazed with egg wash, which may sometimes be scented and coloured with a little 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]


The ancient Babylonians were known to make similar cookies called qullupu, which were known to be round in shape (qullu), also taking note that in Greek kolo meaning circle, and kuklus meaning, wheel.[2]

The term is found in variety of forms in Kurdish and Persian (Kolucheh/Kolicheh), meaning "little Kolu/Koli", with Kolu/Koli deriving from Babylonian "qulu"—a round crusted cake with sweet pasted date stuffing inside, which is still made by the Kurds in its full, rounded form. Koluchech/Kolicheh, however, are smaller and elongated oval shape, looking like the whole date that they incase.


  1. ^ Assyrian Voice Library - Kileche
  2. ^ Delights from the Garden of Eden: An Iraqi Cookbook

See also

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