Apam- coconut cake Cochin Jewish

The Jewish Community in India is diverse and divided into three main communities- Bene Israelis, Marathi speaking Jews who settled in Maharashtra and along the Konkan coast and are today mostly in Mumbai and Pune, the Cochin Jews in Cochin and the Iraqi Jews who settled in Mumbai, Calcutta and Pune. The Cochin Jews are considered the earliest settlers a part of Shlomos fleet that came to the Western Indian coast in 338 A.D. The use of coconut, peanuts, bananas, fish, cilantro, green Indian chillies, black peppercorns and rice with celery, parsley and matzo meal indicate mixing of cultural and culinary traditions.


  • 1 can thick coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup sweetened flakes of coconut (optional)
  • 8 pods of cardamom crushed
  • 2 tsp nutmeg ground
  • ½ cup almonds or cashews toasted
  • cup fine semolina (farina)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (adjust according to your need)
  • 4 ozs butter or ghee
  • eggs


  • Preheat oven 325. Roast semolina in a saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly, till it turns a light golden color for about 5 minutes. Do not brown the semolina.
  • Add ghee or vegetable and roast another 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Add coconut milk, milk, coconut flakes, powdered cardamom/nutmeg and sugar and eggs. Stir vigorously. Add nuts. Pour into a baking pan about 8-10 inches wide and 2-3 inches deep and bake till firm and golden brown in a 325 oven for about 25-35 minutes.
  • To test insert a sharp knife. If it comes out clean the cake is ready.

Important: If the semolina is very warm when liquid is added it tends to cook immediately and become thick and lumpy. Therefore the roasted mix must be cooled before the coconut milk is added.

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