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Burmese Semolina Cake with Rum Raisins (Shwe Gye)

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Calvin Lam

"One of my favorite things growing up was a Burmese semolina cake. It is known by a few names: san win ma kin or shwe gye may be the most familiar ones. I didn't have a major sweet tooth growing up, but this dessert was something I couldn't resist. When I was a kid, my mother would make me stir the mixture for an hour (it kept me out of trouble and from making a mess running around the house)."
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1 h 35 m servings 580 cals
Original recipe yields 10 servings (1 9-inch cake)

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  1. Combine rum, raisins, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until raisins absorb rum, about 10 minutes.
  2. Toast semolina in a dry saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add water, coconut cream, sugar, oil, eggs, and salt; cook and stir until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat and stir in raisin mixture. Cook and stir until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan, 5 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch baking dish.
  4. Scrape semolina mixture into the prepared baking dish; smooth the top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Garnish with a drizzle of honey and poppy seeds.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Substitute cream of wheat for the semolina if desired.
  • Mixture should be extremely thick and hard to stir (your arm should get tired after a few minutes). You can stir from anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hr. My mother's recipe is to stir for 1 hr.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 580 calories; 33.6 g fat; 59.1 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 37 mg cholesterol; 138 mg sodium. Powered by the ESHA Research Database © 2018, ESHA Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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