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Samali – A Greek Traditional Semolina Cake in Syrup

Samali is a favorite syrupy Greek semolina cake with mastic. This dessert falls under the syropiasta ones. By syropiasta,  we mean all the desserts that are bathed in syrup!  To make this Greek traditional semolina cake in syrup you need the following ingredients: fine semolina, coarse semolina, water, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, almonds and of course mastic. Have you ever heard of mastic? Mastic, from the Greek word μαστίχα, is a resin obtained from the mastic tree.  In our country, it is also known as the “tears of Chios,” as mastic is being traditionally produced on that beautiful Greek island, and is produced in “tears” or droplets like all the other natural resins.

This samali recipe is, however, a bit different from the traditional samali recipe as it doesn’t include any dairy products which makes ideal if you are a vegetarian.  If you want to give it a richer taste, then replace the two glasses of water with milk and yogurt.

This samali recipe takes around 20 minutes to prepare and around 45 minutes to bake. It has, however, two hours waiting time.



Samali – Ingredients

  • 2 water glasses of fine semolina
  • 1 water glass of coarse semolina
  • 2 glass of water
  • 1 water glass of sugar
  • 20 g of baking powder
  • The zest of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp ground mastic resin
  • Some Greek olive oil
  • Almonds

For the syrup

  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 1 vanilla extract

Samali – Instructions

  1. Take a baking pan with 30-35 diameter. Cover its surface with some Greek olive oil.
  2. Take a bowl and add the fine semolina, coarse semolina, sugar, baking powder, and lemon zest. Stir and ingredients and slowly add the water until all of it is absorbed.
  3. Place the mixture on the baking tray and with the help of a spatula make its surface even. Cover the baking pan and set it aside for at least 2 hours in order the semolina absorbs all liquids.
  4. Cut the samali into pieces and garnish each piece with an almond. Bake at 180°C for about 1 hour until its surface gets a nice golden brown color.
  5. For the syrup take a pot and add the syrup ingredients. Boil for 4-5 minutes.
  6. When you take the samali out of the oven the hot syrup over it with a tablespoon.

I hope you like samali. Stay tuned for more Greek dessert recipes. Enjoy!



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