Banana Shwe Gye Cake

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 10
Banana Shwe Gye Cake

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet.


Roast the semolina in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring, until the color changes, 10 minutes. Combine the coconut milk, enough water to fill 1 coconut milk can, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and bananas in a large pot and heat over medium heat until barely simmering, about 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly pour in the roasted semolina, mixing well to avoid lumps. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Addthe butter or margarine while stirring.


Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is evenly golden brown, 1 hour. Sprinkle the top with the poppy seeds. Place under the broiler and broil 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature, cover and let stand overnight. Cut into diamonds to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers. Reheat to room temperature before serving.

Leilei Thein of San Diego explains that the cake will be moist, not fluffy. It should stand overnight, until cold, to firm up before cutting. “Shwe gye” is Burmese for semolina. Semolina can be found at specialty markets and health food shops.

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