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Kalon Prama or Samali

Kalon Prama or Samali

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Kalon Prama, which is the Cypriot name for Samali, is a moist, eggless, semolina cake, made with sheep’s milk yoghurt, flavoured with mastic and bathed in syrup.

Kalon Prama with ice cream picture

The word “kalon prama”, means “Nice Thing” or “Good Stuff” and is the Cypriot name of this cake.

kalon prama semolina cake image

I was meaning to make this dessert for a long time now and there are a lot of Cypriot recipes I have still to record, so I kept postponing it, as I was making new recipes.

A few days ago we went shopping with my husband and saw some sheep’s yoghurt.

I immediately remembered the yoghurt my father used to bring at home and without second thought I put it in the cart.

Sheep's ýoghurt image

I hadn’t eaten sheep’s yoghurt since I left Cyprus and I had forgotten what a wonderful taste it has.

This yoghurt was in a 1 kilo earthenware dish and it was too much for us to consume in a short time, so the first thing that came to my mind was to make Kalon Prama.

Although I have been in Greece for so many years I never had this dessert in any friends’ or relatives’ house before.

I had bought it, however, from bakeries, supermarkets and confectioneries, but whenever I tried it, it was nothing extraordinary.

The recipe

I’ve had this recipe since I was single after eating it at my aunt Loukia’s house.  I loved this dessert, so I asked her for the recipe.

Inside the old market Limassol image

Her house was near the Central Market, which was called “Pantopoleio”.

At the time I used to work near the central Post Office, which was not far from her house.

She would occationally, call me and invite me over for lunch.

As her daughter, my cousin, was about my age and we were good friends, I would always accept her invitation because apart from being very pleasant and easy to converse with, I loved her very much.

She was a great cook but at that time, although I loved cooking, I did not ask her for any recipes except for this one.  So you can imagine how delicious it was!!

Whenever I bake this cake, I remember my aunt Lukia and remembering her, brings back so many fond memories.

Collage Kalon prama or samali image

Kalon Prama photo

Kalon Prama or Samali

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Kalon Prama, which is the Cypriot name for Samali, is a moist, eggless, semolina cake, made with sheeps' yoghurt, flavoured with mastic and bathed in syrup.


  • 500 ml Greek sheeps'milk yoghurt
  • 300 grams sugar
  • 600 grams coarse semolina
  • ½ teaspoon mastic resin, pounded with 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp tahini, to grease baking tin

For the syrup:

  • 2 3/4 cups (600 grams) sugar
  • 2 ¾ cups water (about 650 ml water)
  • 1 lemon rind
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Prepare the syrup: Put the sugar, water and lemon peel in a pot and mix to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
  2. Blanch and peel the almonds.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180o C/ 350o F.
  4. Pound the mastic resins with 2 teaspoons of sugar either with a pestle and mortar or in a spice grinder.
  5. Beat the yoghurt and sugar in the mixer at full speed for 15 minutes.
  6. Mix the semolina with the baking soda and mastic and mix to combine.
  7. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients gradually. The mixture must be denser than a cake.
  8. Brush the baking tin with tahini or honey-tahini.
  9. Empty the mixture into the baking tin and spread it evenly with a spatula or a spoon.
  10. Score the pieces with a knife, as a guide, to insert the almonds.
  11. Decorate with the blanched almonds.  
  12. Bake for about 45 minutes to 50 minutes, depending on your oven, or until a knife comes out clean.
  13. Pour the syrup, which must be lukewarm or cold, over the hot cake. Wet it slowly, a spoonful at a time, so that it may be absorbed by the cake. 
  14. Cover with a clean napkin and leave it to cool or until the syrup is absorbed.
  15. Cut the cake into diamond pieces or any other shape you like.
  16. Serve with kaimaki or other ice cream.


Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

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You can find many more Greek recipes in my cookbook “More Than A Greek Salad”, and “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” both available on all Amazon stores as well as through my website.


Other relevant recipes:

Revani or Ravani with Cream Cheese Frosting

Coconut and Olive Oil Revani

Vegan Coconut Samali or Kalon Prama

Orange Yoghurt Cake


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Bellini Valli

Saturday 2nd of February 2008

PS Ivy. I have tagged you for a MEME. You are not obligated to carry it on of course, but check out my answers when you have the time!


Saturday 2nd of February 2008

Hi and thanks for stopping by. Hope you'll visit again.


Saturday 2nd of February 2008

ivy - I LOVE GREEK FOOD!!!! I was a fellow contestant on the Game Night dish and found your site through that list. I am definitely a regular now :)


Friday 1st of February 2008

Thanks Peter but it's so easy to make that I tell you give it a try, it's not like other cakes which have to rise.

Peter M

Friday 1st of February 2008

Bravo Hvi, you excel highly with your baking. I've never had "Kalon Prama"...I'll see if my mom can it make it, as I'm a novice in baking.

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