When I was growing up, everything cooked on the barbeque was intentionally a bit charred. After we'd finished eating. Mum would always bring out the eggplants and put them straight over the coals to make baba ganoush. Lebanese people do the best eggplant in the world, I reckon, and charring really brings out their bittersweet flavour.

When I worked at Est Est Est and other fine-dining restaurants, everything had to be this beautiful golden-brown. I remember barbequing some wings like that for my family and everyone said, “Can you put these back on? They're not cooked.” It was so funny.

When we opened Rumi, we had a little $60 charcoal barbeque that we bought at a Middle Eastern shop, and we used that for the first 10 years. There was never any question about whether we might use a gas one – I think the gas ones are ridiculous.

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At Rumi we always marinate our meats in onion juice, which is an Iranian method. It tenderises the meat and adds a bit of sweetness. The sumac adds a nice sour finish and a powdery, lip-coating texture.

Rumi owner Joseph Abboud’s barbequed chicken wings with toum

Prep time 10–15 minutes
Cook time 15–20 minutes
Serves 2–4 people


25g garlic cloves, peeled
Pinch of sea salt
125ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
2 tsp lemon juice
8 chicken wings
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
25ml olive oil
2 tsp red Aleppo pepper
2 tsp black Aleppo pepper
1 tsp ground sumac


To make the toum, pound the garlic, salt and 2 tsp of the oil to a smooth paste using a large mortar and pestle. Add half the lemon juice and stir to combine, then very, very slowly add the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream, pausing to add a few drops of lemon juice now and then, until the toum is firm and emulsified.

Separate the wingettes and drummettes by cutting through the chicken wing joints with a sharp knife, then remove the wing tips and discard. Set aside in a large bowl.

Blitz the onion in a food processor until finely chopped, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve lined with a clean Chux cloth into a bowl. Gently squeeze the cloth to extract the juice from the onion. Add 25ml of the onion juice and the olive oil to the chicken wings and massage to coat.

Skewer the wings, alternating the wingettes and drumettes, then refrigerate, uncovered, until required. (You can skip the skewers if you don’t have any on hand.)

Preheat a charcoal barbeque to medium-hot. Once the flames have died down and the coals have a dusting of white ash, add the chicken skewers and cook, turning occasionally, for 15–20 minutes, until cooked through and the skin is golden and crisp – a little char on the wings is fine.

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and generously brush with some of the toum. Sprinkle with the Aleppo peppers and sumac, and serve.

This is an extract from the Broadsheet cookbook Home Made, which features 80 diverse recipes for home cooking, sourced from Melbourne's best cooks, chefs and restaurants. Published by Plum, the book is available for $49.95 at shop.broadsheet.com.au