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:
15g 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 3 inch 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. Moonsparkle (ZM)

    This looks nice. I’ve had baklava but haven’t heard of shamishi before. Looks like something I’d like! 🙂

    Moonsparkle (ZM) recently posted…Easter 2018My Profile

  2. 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!
    Hay In A Day recently posted…Foraging For FurnitureMy Profile

  3. Mama and More aka Zaz

    Was passed out on the couch much of yesterday so forgot to link, but made it at last!! Love the sound of this dessert, yummy! xx
    Mama and More aka Zaz recently posted…All About You Link & Pin Party – Week 27My Profile

  4. Eileen Teo

    Congrats to Papa G! His food is gorgeous! I bet lot of magazine want to interview him!
    Eileen Teo recently posted…Lavender ShortbreadMy Profile

  5. 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.
    Jenny recently posted…New Jellycat Collection ReviewMy Profile

  6. 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 🙂
    MummaG recently posted…MummaG’s Sweet Pepper and Spinach FrittersMy Profile

  7. 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 🙂
    Alida recently posted…Homemade Italian Viennetta ice cream for ALL Italian food lovers!My Profile

  8. jennypaulin

    i love the cinnamon dusting all over the dessert and it sounds really delicious x
    jennypaulin recently posted…Cadbury’s Marvellous Mix Ups Pinata Cake #freethejoyMy Profile

  9. 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

  10. Sophie at Franglaise Cooking

    You had me at filo – which I’m a bit obsessed with! This looks and sounds incredible, one to get Ben to try, so that I can test it out 😉
    Sophie at Franglaise Cooking recently posted…Salade juive (grilled pepper & tomato salad)My Profile

  11. 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!

  12. 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 : )

  13. Alison

    These are a new one on me, they look delicious
    Alison recently posted…Edd Kimber’s Alpine Strawberry FoolMy Profile

  14. Mel

    I had never heard of those little treats and they look delicious! Mel
    Mel recently posted…Enjoying the Little Things…My Profile

  15. 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
    mummytries recently posted…A Weekend Of #MagicMomentsMy Profile

    • 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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