R for Roath (Spiced semolina cake)

Roath rhymes with coat, announced our 4 year old as he munched on a piece over the weekend. If you are not familiar with this semolina cake, now may be a good time to give it a try. It is the perfect counterfoil to spicy or oily snacks as it gently balances the tastes in your mouth so you can enjoy every bite. Roath is made from semolina soaked in milk, sweetened, and then gently spiced with cardamom, nutmeg and a dash of saffron.

My earliest memory of roath is eating it in my great grandmother’s house when we visited her. Mothi Aji, as she was called, enjoyed churning out a great variety of delicacies for us to snack on . (It does run in the family!).We used to enjoy great chunks of this cake, served with a spicy helping of her famous tikhat rawa or pangojis. She lived alone, shopped and cooked for herself, eschewing all offers of help until she was well into her nineties. Her zest for life has certainly been passed down to my Aji who is cut from the same cloth.

Pathare Prabhu cuisine has been influenced by Western techniques like baking and has adpated a number of dishes that owe their origins (and their yumminess) to the confluence of these styles. Roath is one such example and I do hope you enjoy it.

Roath - a gently spiced semolina cake

Roath – a gently spiced semolina cake


1 cup rawa

3/4th cup sugar

150 ml warm milk

2 + 1 tablespoons ghee (approx.)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

a handful of pistachios

1/4 cup raisins soaked in a little milk

a few strand of saffron soaked in a teaspoon of warm milk


  1. In a bowl, add the semolina and 2 tablespoons ghee. Rub the ghee into the semolina with your fingertips. Now try and squish this semolina mix into a ball. If it retains the shape, the ghee is sufficient. If it crumbles away, add an additional tablespoon of ghee and rub it in.
  2. Add the warm milk into the semolina till the mixture is thinned down but not runny.
  3. Keep this aside for an hour so that the semolina can absorb the milk.
  4. After an hour, add the sugar and mix well.
  5. Now add the soaked raisins, spices, saffron. Mix well.
  6. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 180 C for about 25 minutes or till the top is golden.

Serve with some spicy snacks and a steaming cup of coffee.

I think it makes a great breakfast cake too!


About The Weekend Baker

Weekend baker, Yoga enthusiast, curious cook, collector of cookbooks and traditional recipes. Stop by and say Hello!
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