Orange Flavored Semolina Bars (Sàmali)


Greek pastries were very limited before 1922 when the Greeks of Asia Minor came as refugees in Greece. The country was very poor and the sweets people had, were based on simple ingredients they could find in nature. Some pastry shops that existed in big cities had French inspired sweets that could be enjoyed only by a small number of elite people who could afford them.

That thing changed with the coming of the Greeks of Asia Minor. They brought with them their kitchen which was a blend of eastern and western influences. A major category, that emerged and flourished soon after that period up until today, is the syrupy sweets. In this category, the king and queen are Baklavas and Galaktobourekos. Nevertheless, the list is quite long and includes sweets such as Ravani, Kataifi, Ekmék, Sàmali etc.


Sàmali is a sweet that comes from Asia Minor and is close to Harissa or Basboussa. It is a sweet semolina cake that is soaked in sweet syrup either when is hot or cold. It is cut in diamond pieces and usually has an almond on each piece. Harissa is very popular throughout Middle East and is consumed during breakfast. There are many variations of Sàmali and Harissa and each one of them is delicious.

Last week was the lent before Christmas and so I decided to make a Sàmali without any animal fat. This recipe was supposed to be posted before Christmas but I am fifteen days now without internet at home and so I have absolutely no connection to the outside world. Although this Sàmali is without any fat animal or vegetal it is very aromatic and truly delicious and I couldn’t wait until the next lent period to post it. If you don’t have mastic just omit it.


This sweet is very easy to make and it can stand out of the fridge at least 4 days. Since it has no fats, if it is kept in a cool place, is perfectly fine. It can also be made in advance and be served warmed a bit either in the microwave or the conventional oven. Simple and delicious.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Orange Flavored Semolina Bars (Sàmali)
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Dessert
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Greek
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 280 gr. / 10 oz. thick semolina
  • 160 gr. / 5.5 oz. fine semolina
  • 150 gr. / 5 oz. Sugar
  • 400 ml / 13.5 fl oz. orange juice
  • 100 ml / 3 fl oz. water
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • 30 ml / 1 fl oz. mastic liquor (optional)
  • 4 mastic tears finely ground (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Syrup
  • 450 ml / 15 fl oz. water
  • 400 gr. / 14 oz. Sugar
  • 1 orange rind
  • 1 lemon rind
  • Melted chocolate for garnishing
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C/ 375˚F.
  2. In a pot add all the ingredients for the syrup and bring to boil.
  3. Let it boil for five minutes and then turn off the heat and let it cool.
  4. In your stand mixer’s bowl mix all the dry ingredients and then add all the liquids.
  5. Take a rectangular pan 30 cm X 25 cm / 12 in X 10 in and pour the batter.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the knife comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and with a ladle start pouring the cold syrup to the hot cake.
  8. Let it stand until it absorbs all the syrup and then garnish with the melted chocolate.
Notes/ Σημειώσεις
Recipe adapted from

5.0 from 2 reviews
Σάμαλι Νηστίσιμο
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Επιδόρπιο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Ελληνική
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 280 γρ. σιμιγδάλι χονδρό
  • 160 γρ. σιμιγδάλι ψιλό
  • 150 γρ. ζάχαρη
  • 400 ml χυμό πορτοκαλιού
  • 100 ml νερό
  • 3 κ.γ. μπέικιν πάουντερ
  • 1 κ.γ.μαγειρική σόδα
  • ½ κ.γ.ξύσμα λεμονιού
  • ½ κ.γ.ξύσμα πορτοκαλιού
  • 30 ml λικέρ μαστίχα
  • 4 δάκρυα μαστίχας θρυμματισμένα
  • 1 κ.γ. εκχύλισμα βανίλιας
Για το Σιρόπι
  • 450 ml νερό
  • 400 γρ. ζάχαρη
  • 1 φλούδα πορτοκαλιού
  • 1 φλούδα λεμονιού
  • Λιωμένη σοκολάτα για γαρνίρισμα
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Προθερμαίνετε το φούρνο στους 180˚C.
  2. Σε μία κατσαρόλα προσθέτουμε όλα τα υλικά για το σιρόπι και φέρνουμε σε βρασμό.
  3. Αφήνουμε να βράσουν για πέντε λεπτά και στη συνέχεια σβήνουμε τη φωτιά και αφήνουμε να κρυώσει.
  4. Στο μπολ του μίξερ ανακατεύουμε όλα τα στερεά υλικά και στη συνέχεια προσθέτουμε όλα τα υγρά.
  5. Παίρνουμε ένα ορθογώνιο ταψί 30 εκατοστά X 25 εκατοστά και ρίχνουμε το μίγμα.
  6. Ψήνουμε για περίπου 30 λεπτά ή μέχρι το μαχαίρι να βγει καθαρό.
  7. Αφαιρούμε από το φούρνο και με μια κουτάλα ρίχνουμε το κρύο σιρόπι στο ζεστό κέικ.
  8. Αφήνουμε να σταθεί μέχρι να απορροφήσει όλα το σιρόπι και στη συνέχεια, γαρνίρουμε με την λιωμένη σοκολάτα.
Notes/ Σημειώσεις
Συνταγή προσαρμογή από το

14 Responses to Orange Flavored Semolina Bars (Sàmali)

  1. Jennifer says:

    What an exotic dessert. I can just imagine how wonderful it tastes. Oh wow, that could not have been fun being without the internet for 2 weeks. Yikes!!

  2. 2
  3. I would never know from all the wonderful and beautiful desserts that you posted that they used to be a limited treat. Happy New Year.

  4. 3
  5. grace says:

    what a unique batch of bars! they look like they’d just melt in your mouth, and what a great flavor choice to use orange. delicious!

  6. 4
  7. Susan says:

    They look wonderful, Katerina! I love the crunch of semolina.

  8. 5
  9. I have never had semolina bars and that orange flavoured bars look so pretty and delicious. Would love to try them soon.

  10. 6
  11. manu says:

    Katerina, these bars looks divine and the smell should be wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing

  12. 7
  13. Gloria says:

    What amazing and delicious pastries !
    Happy holidays dear Katerina !

  14. 8
  15. mia xara says:

    Looks delicious, Katerina! Wishing you all the best for the New Year, XOXO

  16. 9
  17. Kate says:

    Hard to imagine a Greece without Greek pastries.

  18. 10
  19. Its been long since I came this way :) The semolina bars sound amazing and look perfect.

  20. 11
  21. Ola says:

    It looks so pretty and perfect!

  22. 12
  23. Love semolina sweets but rarely make them, I really should, these bars look great. Happy New Year!

  24. 13
  25. Sissi says:

    Semolina is such a surprisingly good ingredient in sweets…. Your bars look and sound fantastic. I regularly make a semolina apple cake (posted a long time ago) and it’s one of the best and easiest cakes in the world!

  26. 14
  27. I don’t use semolina often enough! These bars look very tempting with that tender, moist crumb.

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