Semolina Cake (Samali)

With the aroma of Chios Mastiha!
Traditional dessert of Greek Cuisine, with roots from Constantinople, and basic ingredients the yoghurt and semolina. You make it without mixer, just mix the ingredients with a spoon.
It used to be one of the desserts that were sold by street vendors outside schools, in summer cinema or at various festivals.
Easy, delicious and simple, without the burden of too much fat.
Try it!

work: 00h:20′ time: 01h:50′ very easy: 1/5
Semolina Cake, Samali

Ingredients (∼20 pieces)

  • 330g/ 12 oz yoghurt
  • 200g/ 7 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda powder
  • 100ml/ 3.4 fl oz schweppes soda water
  • 1 tsp mastic powder
  • 130g/ 4.5 oz fine semolina
  • 130g/ 4.5 oz coarse semolina
  • 1 tbsp butter for the pan
  • 70g/ 2.5 oz blanched almonds
In the glass with soda water dissolve the baking powder and soda powder. Slow moves to keep foam in check.
Rub the grains of mastic with a little sugar to make powder. Leave aside for a while.
In a large bowl mix with a spoon, the yogurt and sugar.
Pour the mixture of soda in the yogurt mixture, stirring constantly.
Add the mastic powder.
We keep adding little by little, to avoid clotting, the two types of semolina.
Stir the mixture well until the ingredients are mixed completely.
Grease well a nonstick baking pan 25×35cm/ 10″×14″, pour in the mixture and level the surface with the back of the spoon.
Leave aside, covered, for about an hour for the semolina to rise.
Meanwhile boild almonds and peel them.
With a knife, curve the surface of the dessert, at a distance of 3 cm/ 1.2″ and place in center of each diamond two almonds.
Bake at 170°C/ 330°F/ Gas Mark 3 for about 30′.


  • 350ml/12 fl oz water
  • 300g ζάχαρη/ 10.6 oz
  • some lemon peel
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
Put the ingredients of the syrup in a small saucepan, and boil for 5′.
Remove the pan from the oven, cut the pieces in-depth and add the hot syrup on the hot samali with a deep spoon.
Allow to absorb.
Optionally served with a ball of ice cream.
Semolina Cake Samali For more pieces just double the ingredients and choose a larger baking pan.
Do not overcook. It gets dry and hard.
Samali does not rise too much.

Author Zambia Sifaki