Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch cake pan.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Mix in semolina and almonds.
Combine 1 cup sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating batter briefly between each addition. Stir in lemon zest.
Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Combine water, 3 cups sugar, cloves, and cinnamon in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves into a syrup. Pour syrup over cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let cake cool, about 30 minutes. Cut into squares.