Arabic Cardamom Shortbread (Gorayba)

"These cookies are made all over the Middle East. Each country and each household has their favourite recipe. The traditional shape is a horse shoe with the 2 ends pinched together and a nut is placed where they meet. I only do that if I am receiving guests or for a special occasion."
photo by oloschiavo photo by oloschiavo
photo by oloschiavo
photo by rashik photo by rashik
Ready In:
50 cookies




  • Melt ghee in a saucepan on the stove.
  • Add icing sugar to ghee and mix till sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add cardamom and gradually add in the flour and baking soda.
  • Mix well. dough should not stick to your hand.
  • Add more flour if necessary.
  • Roll 1 tsp of dough at a time into balls.
  • Place onto an oven tray, flatten slightly.
  • Place a nut of your choice in the middle of each cookie.
  • Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes, or until tops are cream.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Roberta F.
    I've looked at this recipe on about 5 sites. The cookies are called Arabic cardamom cookies. So why is the cardamom optional (& is also left out of the ingredient lists on 4 of the 5 sites)? Several sites say "cardamom or orange water or rose water all optional." I'm confused. I want to make these for an Arabic presentation & want them to turn out right. Thank you.


  1. oloschiavo
    Lemoncurd, these cookies are beautiful. I made my own ghee for these, and was amazed at how simple it all was! Smooth and buttery with an exotic hint of cardamom, these will make a perfect addition to my Christmas cookie bags. Thanks for the recipe!
  2. Ranoush
    The cookies were WONDERFUL!!!This is my childrens favorite Arabic cookie. It was so simple to make. THANX;)
    Fabulous, Fabulous, Fabulous! Used walnuts and even though I used the cardamom, I also added about 1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water. Thanks for sharing, Lemon! cg ;)
  4. BigFatMomma
    These are my all time favorite, and I usually make mine with almond extract. The cardamom is a nice touch! I just love the rich, buttery texture that the ghee gives the cookie. Thanks!
  5. UmmBinat
    DH said these are good. I made them for my FIL's dewaniya (male gathering) to have with Arabic coffee and strong tea. I actually used butter (without clarifying it), freshly ground cardamom for half the batch & the other half with cardamom and Lebanese rose water to loosen up the dough after putting a bit too much flour (I blame the recipe). I put blanched almond slivers on top of the cardamom half and the rest I dusted with icing sugar as they were still too dry to stick a nut into them. The additional flour didn't make them hard though, alhamdulillah (praise be to God). I baked them at 350F watching them carefully. I may make these again making sure to use the correct amount of flour.



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