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Shamishi - (Traditional Fried Pastries filled with semolina)

Shamishi (Traditional Fried Pastries filled with semolina) Traditionally served at Greek festivals and celebrations.

This recipe take a couple of days from start to finish as the semolina mixture needs to set before you can put the Shamishi together



2 cups flour (village or plain flour is best)

2 cups soft flour

½ cup corn or cooking oil

½ level tsp salt

Approx 1 cup warm water (depends on flour)


1½ cup semolina

1½ cup sugar

6 cups water

½ level tsp mastic (crushed with 1 level tsp sugar)

Ingredients for frying and finishing off:

Cooking oil

Icing Sugar to dust

Cinnamon for sprinkling


Semolina Filling:

Put water into a largish saucepan, add the sugar and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and then gradually add the semolina, mixing (with a wooden spatula) as you go.  Bring slowly to the boil, stirring continually until the mixture is thick.  When the mixture starts to bubble, remove pan from the heat and add the mastic.

Pour the semolina into a greased dish.  (The dish should be at least 18 cm deep, 18 x 30 cm should be OK but do not worry, if it is not, you can just cut the semolina mixture to size once set.)

Set semolina mixture aside and once cool, refrigerate overnight.  Take out of the fridge about 15 minutes before using.


Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Gradually add the water and knead into normal dough consistency, not too soft and not too hard.

Cover with a little oil and cling film and leave to stand for at least 20 minutes. 

Shape the dough into a long roll and cut into 12 – 15 pieces.

Take a piece of the dough and press with your palm to flatten a little, fold and press again.  Shape into a ball.

Grease each dough ball and place on a greased tray.

Wrap each ball in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 10 hours or so.  (The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days)

Putting together the Shamishi:

Remove the dough from the fridge, at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Grease rolling pin and work surface generously and make sure you do this every time you handle a dough ball.

Take a dough ball, grease generously and press into a flat cake between your hands.

Roll out the dough into a sheet (18x10 cm) and bang on the table until it stretches in the following way:

Hold the ends of the dough with both hands (both your palms should be touching the dough)

Bring back above your shoulder and beat the dough on the table.

Move your hands to the right and continue in the same way until a membrane-thick sheet forms

Using a sharp knife cut the sheet into square pieces approx 14x14cm

Cut the semolina filling into small square pieces about 5 cm; put a piece in the centre of a square sheet and press down lightly into the dough.

Fold the corner of the square towards the middle to cover the filling a little (you are going to make an envelope shape).  Fold the opposite corner and then the sides to form the envelope shape.  Take care to cover the filling completely.

Put the Shamishi on a greased tray, folded side facing down.

Put the oil in a deep frying pan or shallow saucepan and heat.  When oil is hot but not smoking; fry the Shameshi in the hot oil making sure to keep the folded side down;  If necessary brown on both sides.  Remove the fried Shameshi from the oil into a colander or kitchen paper, to drain.

Sprinkle a tray with icing sugar and cinnamon and place the Shamishi on the tray with folded side up, then sprinkle top with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Best served hot.

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