Once a week, on Wednesday evenings, the doors of The Grassy Hopper in Gzira open for dinner. Wednesday 25th of January was an evening with a twist: we hosted a charity dinner featuring Syrian and Middle-Eastern dishes to celebrate the culinary wonders from this region, but also to raise awareness about the ongoing war and violence, and the dangerous crossing many Syrians and other refugees make over land and sea to look for safety. We chose MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) as the beneficiary of the money raised during the evening. MOAS is a Malta based non-profit dedicated to preventing loss of life by providing professional search-and-rescue assistance to refugees and migrants in distress at sea.
The menu featured different vegan highlights from Syrian and Middle-Eastern cuisine, such as Mujadara Lentil Stew, with cinnamon, smoked paprika and garlic, served with rice, bean salad and vegan mint cream, a Ras el Hanout Stew with carrots, pumpkin, aubergine, cauliflower and Middle-Eastern spices, served with quinoa and fresh mint, and Sweet pea Falafel, served with hummus and tabbouleh.
We also served Shurbat Addes, a Syrian red lentil soup and Socca, homemade chickpea flatbread. For dessert our healthy sweet shop Theobroma prepared a delectable vegan rose & pistachio cheesecake, and we also baked vegan baklava, made with filo pastry, walnuts, almonds, agave syrup, cinnamon and fresh lemon.
To raise funds we held a raffle on the evening and had a donation box ready. In total we raised over €300! Prizes included vouchers for Eco-Spa & Yoga Hub Sanya, a box of chocolates from Theobroma - A Raw Cacao Collective, vouchers for a free meal & smoothie or coffee & dessert at The Grassy Hopper, and goodie bags donated by our lovely suppliers CORE GREEN:Organic & Fairtrade, Flavours for Health and Hames Sensi - Organic World. A heartfelt thanks to our sponsors for their generous gifts.
We were happily surprised by the great interest in the evening and want to thank everyone who attended for your support and contributions.
For more information about the work MOAS do, and how you can help, please visit their website: www.moas.eu
Photos by Jason Florio (MOAS) and Luca Séllei