Plate of two different shaped date cookies on a white plate

Traditional Kurdish Kulicha for Eid

Traditional Kurdish Kulicha for Eid

Kulicha is traditionally made to celebrate Eid. Well people, today, Friday 31st July 2020 is Eid so if you fancy making these over the weekend, you’d be well in keeping with tradition! These traditional Kurdish Kulicha for Eid, can of course, be made at any other time too! There are many many different variations you will find of these (and differing spellings), but these are the tried and tested dairy free ones we use regularly. You will also find similar recipes with different names such as Mamool, Ma’amoul or just date cookies.


Crescent and spiral shaped date pastries on a white plate.
Kurdish Kulicha

The Kulicha Recipe

Kulicha takes a lot of time to make but it is so worth it! You can of course cheat and just use a regular pastry mix if you are short of time, but I’d go with this version! First, you need to make a yeasted dough, enriched with butter and a splash of milk (vegan versions work well). Then, the filling is a paste made from dates and butter, infused with ground cardamom. When you’ve made them and shaped them, it is traditional to sprinkle nigella seeds on top.


Plate full of kurdish kulicha spirals.
Kulicha spirals

5 from 1 vote
Plate of crescent shaped kulicha in a circle, with spiral kulicha in the centre.
Kurdish Kulicha

Cookies filled with a fragrant date paste.

Cuisine: kurdish
Keyword: cookies, date biscuits, date cookies, Eid, kulicha, mamool
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
Gather
  • 600 g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried yeast (approx 8-9g)
  • 15 g sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt (8g)
  • 225 g butter melted
  • 75-125 ml milk or water
  • 500g dates (without stones) or date paste
  • 50 g butter melted
  • 10 pods cardamom (de-podded and crushed)
  • *optional 2 teaspoons nigella seeds
  • *optional icing sugar
Prepare
  1. Put the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl and mix together.

  2. Add the melted butter and 75ml of the milk to the dry ingredients and bring together until you have a soft smooth dough. Add more milk (or water) if required. You should have a soft pliable dough, which is not sticky. Knead for 10 minutes.

  3. Place the dough back in the bowl (no need to clean or oil it), cover with a tea-towel and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour.

  4. While the dough is proving, prepare your date paste by mixing the dates with the melted butter and the cardamom. Blend well until you have a uniformly smooth paste.

  5. Divide the proved dough into 4 portions and roll one out into a rectangle about 5mm thick (ensure it is liftable from the worktop). Spread a quarter of the date mixture over the whole pastry then from the long edge, roll the pastry up like a swiss roll. Ensure the edge is sealed, then with a clean sharp knife, slice 1cm thick rounds and place on a baking tray (leave a bit of space between them).

  6. Repeat with another section of dough to make more spirals.

  7. With the remaining pastry either make more spirals or make filled crescents. Use a circular pastry cutter and put a spoonful of date paste on one half leaving a 0.5cm border. Slightly dampen the edges with water, then fold the empty half over to make a semi circle. Using the tines of a fork, press all the way around the edges to seal, then shape into a crescent. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a prepared baking tray.

  8. If using nigella seeds, lightly dampen or brush the crescents with milk (or water), then sprinkle the seeds on top.

  9. Bake at Gas Mark 4 (350f / 180c) for 15- 20 minutes. The ulicha should be strting to turn golden. Allow to cool before moving to a wire rack. Caution filling will be hot – allow to cool! Dust with icing sugar before serving.

  10. Enjoy!


What do I need?

You can (as with most of my recipes), make these Kulicha as decorative or as plain as you like! Ideally, fig roll type shapes are traditional, so roll the dough into a rectangle, make a sausage shape with the date paste, then cut into thick rounds! We always make the spirals and the crescents as we think they look nicer! If you are new to cooking or your kitchen needs a refresh, here are a few useful things for this recipe. We do receive a small commission if you click and purchase through these links.





How to serve Kulicha

Usually we just eat the Kulicha as they are… for breakfast! We do eat them at any time as a snack, and we do make them at times other than Eid. Kulicha are a great addition to afternoon tea with a cup of coffee or tea!


Crescent shaped kulicha with nigella seeds on top
Kulicha for Eid

Storing

Your Kulicha can either be stored in an airtight container, or just simply covered (I use a serviette and/or teatowel). They should last for at least five days (unless you like them as much as we do then you might be lucky to have them for a day)! You can also freeze your Kulicha for up to 3 months – I would suggest wrapping them in greaseproof paper in batches, putting in a container and of course adding a label and date.


Close up of date spiral pastries dusted with icing sugar
Date cookie spirals

Other Eid foods

Other foods we might eat at Eid are on the not so traditional side! We have many friends who cook biryani, some who make a special rice pudding (you really should try that) and of course there is always a lentil soup or a chickpea soup to be had! We are most likely to cook a roast dinner, have some cake or even a barbecue as the weather is supposed to be very hot and sunny here today!


Plate of Eid date cookies
Kurdish Kulicha – spirals and crescents

I love seeing your creations and interpretations of my recipes! Please share and tag me @LifeDietHealth or using #LifeDietHealth on InstagramPinterestFacebook or Twitter.

Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think of these Kurdish Kulicha! Eid Mubarak!

Speak soon

Laurena x

6 Comments

  • Eva Gallon 31st July 2020 at 10:31

    Wishing you and your family a blessed Eid, Laurena. These look lovely, my mouth’s watering?

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 2nd August 2020 at 13:35

      Thank you Eva… and thank you! Gremlins in my site my end this time (I did reply almost immediately)! These are so good… I’ll have an extra one for you! 😛

      Reply
  • Heersh 1st August 2020 at 11:13

    Noice!
    Eid Mubarak.

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 2nd August 2020 at 13:37

      Thank you! Eid Mubarak to you too!

      Reply
  • Angie | Fiesta Friday 4th September 2020 at 03:58

    Did you link this to Fiesta Friday? I must have missed it. It looks WONDERFUL!!

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 4th September 2020 at 09:14

      Thank you Angie. These are great and make a regular appearance in our house! 🙂 Hope you’re well. x

      Reply

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