Chicken Ruby is a gorgeous tomato based curry with complex spices, mild heat, and the most heavenly flavors. It’s a legendary dish at London’s Dishoom restaurant. What a thrill to be able to make this incredible Indian chicken curry at home!
Dishoom is the restaurant Eddie and I returned to again and again during the two years we lived in London. It’s where we took all of our visitors, to share in some of the planet’s most delicious Indian food. Eventually we stopped looking at the menu because there was no debate over what to order. It was always garlic naan, house black dahl, pilau rice, grilled spicy lamb chops, Murgh malai, Masala prawns, gunpowder potatoes, raita, and, without a doubt, Chicken Ruby.
Chicken Ruby is the first dish I’ve made from the new and captivating Dishoom Cookbook and I can’t wait to make it again. Truthfully, my first reaction to the recipe was shock at the massive amounts of oil, butter and cream. I mentioned this to a friend, who said “that’s why it’s so good.” But still I went ahead with a drastic reduction in fat, hoping for a positive outcome – I had a sense that the other flavorful ingredients would carry the day. I should mention that I have a tendency to reduce unnecessary fat from recipes. It’s not that have anything against butter, cream or oil, but if a recipe can be excellent with less, I go with the leaner version.
It’s with much happiness (and relief) that I can tell you, Chicken Ruby made with about half the fat, is absolutely delicious. In case you’re curious (or skeptical), here’s the original Ruby Chicken recipe.
How to make Dishoom’s Chicken Ruby (with a few tweaks)
For maximum flavor, the chicken needs to marinate for at least six hours and up to 24. That gives you plenty of time to make the Makhani sauce.
- Marinate: In a blender, puree the marinade ingredients: ginger root, garlic, salt, chili powder, garam masala, lime juice vegetable oil and yogurt. Toss the boneless chicken thighs in the marinade and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to grill them.
- Make the Makhani sauce: In a heavy pot, heat oil, chopped garlic, bay leaves, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks and let them sizzle for a minute. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and add ginger and garlic paste. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes, salt and chili powder and simmer the sauce for 25 minutes or so. Add butter, sugar, honey and dry spices: garam masala, cumin and fenugreek. Simmer for 15 minutes. At this point you can grill the chicken and finish the dish or you can refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to proceed.
- Grill the Chicken: Heat the grill to medium-high. Remove the chicken from the marinade, brush with melted butter, and grill for 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through and nicely charred in spots. Cut the chicken into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
- Finish the Dish: Add the cream and the grilled chicken to the makhani sauce and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, until heated through.
Here’s the Chicken Ruby Recipe. If you try this, I hope you’ll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think!Print
Chicken Ruby (Indian Chicken Curry from Dishoom)
A heavenly Indian chicken curry, one of the legendary dishes from London’s Dishoom restaurant.
Note: You’ll need to start this recipe at least 6 hours ahead. Prep time listed does not include the time needed to marinate the chicken.
- Prep Time: 30 min
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 5-6 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing on the chicken when grilling
For the Marinade:
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped ginger root from a 3” x 1” chunk
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic, from 3-4 large cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon deggi mirch chili powder (or sub in 3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika plus 1/4 teaspoon cayenne)
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup full fat greek yogurt
For The Makhani Sauce:
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil such as light olive oil or canola
- 8 large garlic cloves, half chopped, half grated or mashed with a mortar and pestle. (2 tablespoons chopped and 2 tablespoons grated)
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger root (from a 3-inch by 1-inch piece)
- 28-ounce can good quality canned tomatoes, pureed in a blender (see notes below)
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons deggi mirch chili powder (or substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried fenugreek leaves, optional (Don’t use ground fenugreek seeds – they are more bitter than the leaves)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (called double cream in the UK)
- A few tablespoons of chopped cilantro
- A tablespoon of pomegranate seeds
- In a blender, pulse all the marinade ingredients together to form a smooth paste: chopped ginger (3 tablespoons), chopped garlic (3 tablespoons), salt (1 teaspoon), chili powder (1 teaspoon), garam masala (1/2 teaspoon), lime juice (2 teaspoons), oil (2 teaspoons), and yogurt (1 cup). In a bowl or plastic container, fully mix chicken with marinade. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
- To make the Makhani sauce, in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat oil (1/3 cup), chopped garlic (2 tablespoons), bay leaves (2), cardamom pods (6) and cinnamon sticks (2), over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, stir and continue to toast the garlic and spices for 30-40 more seconds. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and add the grated garlic (2 tablespoons) and grated ginger (1 tablespoon). Cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, regulating the heat so the ginger-garlic paste doesn’t burn. Add the pureed tomatoes, salt (2 teaspoons) and chili powder (1 1/2 teaspoons). Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until reduced by about half, about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add butter (1 tablespoon), garam masala (1 teaspoon), sugar (1 1/2 tablespoons), honey (1 tablespoon), cumin (1 teaspoon), and fenugreek (1 teaspoon), if using. Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is fairly thick. At this point you can grill the chicken and finish the dish or you can refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to proceed.
- Grill the Chicken: Heat the grill to medium-high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on the hot grill rack. Brush with melted butter (2 tablespoons) and grill for 5-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through and nicely charred in spots. Cut the chicken into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
- With the makhani sauce in a large pot, add the cream (1/3 cup) and the grilled chicken. Simmer very gently for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken and sauce are heated through.
- Garnish with cilantro and pomegranate seeds and serve with steamed basmati rice.
A note about canned tomatoes: I find that canned whole tomatoes are consistently better quality than canned chopped or pureed tomatoes, so when a recipe calls for tomato puree, I blitz the canned whole tomatoes, with their juice, in a blender. It’s a great way to take a recipe up a notch, but if you choose to skip the extra step and use canned tomato puree, the dish will still be delicious.
My favorite canned tomatoes are San Marzano and Muir Glenn Organic. If you can’t find these, I suggest you choose another brand of organic canned tomatoes.
Keywords: Indian chicken curry with tomatoes and cream