Greek Cypriot Dessert Shamishi


Shamishi Greek Cypriot dessert-Honest Mum


Shamishi is a Greek Cypriot delicacy, a sweet treat often eaten at Cypriot panigyria (fairs) and something that Cypriot diaspora enjoy making the world over, especially my extended family! If you use water, these are vegan pastries.

A square shaped filo pie (you can use shop bought filo too of course), it houses a sweet semolina cream centre scented with orange blossom water, mastic (optional) and is deep fried in hot oil, donut-style before being sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon.

My Dad, Papa G, aka George, often makes these treats and the kids adore them.


For the Pastry:
200g plain flour
200g self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
125 ml sunflower oil
225 ml warm water

For the Filling:
150g caster sugar
11/2 litres of milk or water
1/2 tsp mastic (optional) or 1 tsp vanilla essence
175g fine semolina
Icing sugar and cinnamon for dusting


To make the pastry, sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water, little by little kneading lightly at the same time to form a smooth firm dough. Warp in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Pour the milk in a heavy based medium pan and bring to the boil. Add the sugar and mastic or vanilla and stir until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat to simmering point and gradually add the semolina, whisking continually until smooth and thick.

Pour into a small tray, flatten with a palette knife and cover the surface with clingfilm to prevent skin from forming. Leave to cool then chill. Take the pastry dough out of the fridge. Knead the dough a little to soften and with a sharp knife cut the dough in 4 pieces. Brush the pieces with a little sunflower oil and knead every piece until it becomes soft and elastic.

Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out the pastry to 3mm thickness. Using a small sharp knife, cut the pastry into squares about 12 cm.

Cut 5 cm square pieces from the semolina mixture and place one buy one in the middle of the pastry squares. Lightly press the filling and fold the four edges to just cover the filling.

Press the edges of the shamishi using your hands or a fork. Fry the shamishi pastries 4-5 at a time in a very hot oil in a large pan doe a couple of minutes/ Heat until golden on both sides. Dust lightly with icing sugar and cinnamon and serve immediately.

Please let me know if you make them!

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56 Responses

  1. Hay In A Day

    I love sugary doughnuts with cinnamon so i’m bound to love these too by the looks of it! The pictures are making me hungry!

  2. Jenny

    WOW as always your recipes have my mouth watering while I read them and love the food photos as always. Thanks for hosting my lovely.

  3. MummaG

    These look delicious! I must give them a try, don’t know if mine will look like that once I’ve made them but I like a challenge 🙂

  4. Alida

    I have never seen this Greek dessert before. How interesting. It looks seriously addictive and I love that touch of cinnamon at the end.
    Just entered my viennetta which has been a big success in my household and it was surprisingly so straightforward to make.
    Have a fab week 🙂

  5. Rebecca U

    That looks amazing. I’ve been to the Olive Tree in Headingley – is that the restaurant? Also, do you use a plug-in to make the recipe card? I love how it looks

  6. Kitty

    I am always drooling at your food posts! I am now determined to visit your dad’s restaurant & sample all this lovely food myself!

  7. Lucy @SupergoldenBakes

    Wow – here’s a dessert I haven’t heard of before. It sounds delicious though so I will have to give it a try. Luckily still have some mastic gum leftover from Easter : )

  8. mummytries

    This sounds really interesting hon, might give it a whirl for my daughters lunchbox as she’s currently having to eat a gluten containing diet

    • honestmum

      Thanks orange blossom water or rose water perfect for this and heavenly, I remember my Grandma using rose water as a natural perfume x

    • honestmum

      Thanks darling, utterly scrumptious and always reminds me of holidays in Cyprus where we’d visit fairs and eat these as the sun set-perfection!


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