Burmese Semolina Cake

My mama is here.  She has taken over my kitchen and I happily obliged.  As a true cook, she has completely transformed my kitchen and I just breeze in and out it like a happy cool summer breeze.  So yesterday, I asked her to teach me how to make one of my favorite Burmese dessert called Sanwei Makin or Burmese Semolina Cake.  This special treat has a subtle coconut flavor with raisins and cashews.  Since my parents have been here, I have fallen back in love with tea time.  This Semolina Cake is the perfect tea time treat.

I, for the most part, like to think of myself as a good baker.  I have to admit that as delicious as this treat is, it is also a lot of work.  My mother who I like to describe as an angry happy cook said "Why am I making this now when I didn't even make it back home where I have my cooks?

The main ingredient for the cake is this Sooji grain.  You have to either go to an Indian grocery store or order it from amazon.

Once the sweet smell of coconut and Burmese tea filled the air, we were all ready to devour our sweet treat for tea time.


2 cups of Sooji grain
2 cups of caster sugar
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 can of evaporated milk
1 teaspoon of salt
2 egg yolks beaten
2.5 cups of water
1 cup of canola oil
1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
raisins and cashews <optional>

Pour the grain in a frying pan and roast over low heat until it turns golden brown.  Make sure it doesn't burn.  When it is golden brown, pour it into a large sauce pan.  Mix in the remaining ingredients except for the poppy seeds over the moderate heat.  Keep stirring until the mixture bubbles than lower the heat.  The mixture will thicken and keep on stirring until the mixture starts to clump together and comes away from the side of the pan.  It is serious arm and shoulder work out.  Consider this your upper body day at the gym.  Pour the mixture into a greased cake pan .  Make sure you don't spread it too thin.  Sprinkle the poppy seeds then bake in the oven at 325 degree for about 45 minutes until the top is golden and some cracks appear on the surface.  Serve at room temperature.


  1. Looks and sound delicious ! I would love to try it some time

  2. VIctoria,
    The door is slamming behind me as I rush out for the ingredients! It looks like a total yUM!!!
    Sending love,

  3. This looks so good, I will have to give it a try. Have a lovely day. Jo

  4. Hi Victoria,
    Just a tip for others ... Sooji can be subsituted with Semolina, an wheat Italian flour.
    A yum cake!!!

  5. This sounds so good! And with my favorite-hot tea! Wish my grandmother was alive and I was a little girl. Cool breezes did flow through her kitchen in Minneapolis and food was an art form.