Turkish-Cypriot Cuisine
North Cyprus  

Pastries & Breads
  Irmik Kurabiyesi 
(Cypriot Nut-stuffed Semolina pastries)
  Serves 30 cookies
  • 1/4 lb Sweet butter
  • 1 1/4 c Fine semolina
  • Orange flower water
  • 1/4 ts Salt
  • 3 tb Warm water (more if needed)
  • 1 c Chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 4 1/2 tb Granulated sugar
  • 1 tb Ground cinnamon
  • Confectioners' sugar
  Oven temerature 
  • 180 C (350 F) 

In a small, heavy saucepan, bring the butter to bubbling over medium heat and stir in the fine semolina. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and let stand overnight at room temperature. The next day, uncover and add 2 teaspoons orange flower water, the salt, and gradually the warm water, working with your fingers to make a firm dough. Knead for 5 minutes, then cover and let rest 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine the pistachios, sugar, and ground cinnamon in a small bowl.

Break off pieces of dough slightly larger in size than a walnut. Work in your fingers to form a ball. Press the centre with your thumb to make a large well and fill with 1 teaspoon of the nut mixture, then cover over with dough and shape into an oval. Set on a cookie sheet and continue until all pastries are shaped. 

Bake in a moderate oven (350 F) for 30 to 35 minutes or until the yellow colour has become a light (not a deep) chestnut. 

Remove to racks and cool for 10 minutes, then dip quickly into orange flower water and roll in confectioners' sugar. Cool before storing.

Note: You may substitute blanched almonds for the pistachios and peanut oil for the butter.


  • Vegetarian dishes have been marked with sign
  • Albrecht, M. (1994), Turkish Cypriot and Mediterranean Cookery, Havellia Publishing, London.
  • Salaman, R., (1991), The Cooking of Greece and Turkey, Sainsbury Cookbooks, London.
  • Jemal, H., Cyprus Today, various.

Arts & Culture