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 ½ 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.
Serve chicken ruby with basmati rice or naan. For an additional side dish, consider cucumber raita - the quintessential accompaniment to Indian curries, kebabs, biryani and virtually any spicy dish.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, for the latest delicious recipes and cooking inspiration!
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)
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 5-6 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
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.
- 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 ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika plus ¼ teaspoon cayenne)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup full fat greek yogurt
For The Makhani Sauce:
- ⅓ 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 ½ teaspoons deggi mirch chili powder (or substitute 1 ½ teaspoons sweet paprika and ¼ teaspoon cayenne)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 ½ 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)
- ⅓ 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 (½ 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 (⅓ 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 ½ 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 ½ 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 ½ inch pieces.
- Put the makhani sauce in a large pot, add the cream (⅓ 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.
- Prep Time: 30 min
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: Indian chicken curry with tomatoes and cream
I just made the recipe for Chicken Ruby in the Dishoom cookbook. My partner loved it but he’s not eaten at the restaurant. I found the amount of oil to be excessive, I considered reducing but decided to go with the recipe for the first attempt. I included the black cardamoms and dill fronds that are missing from this revision. I admit to being disappointed, whilst the chicken itself was delicious, I found the sauce overly oily and reducing the tomatoes by half had resulted in an overly concentrated tomato flavour. I will certainly take your advice to cut down the fat/oil content next time.
Hi Helen, thank you for your note. You have confirmed what I suspected when I looked at the massive amount of oil in the original recipe. I hope you'll try my version. It it so delicious and with much less oil.
Amazing recipe tried it and we all where so impressed with it just prefect I don’t think it gets any better than this thank you
I'm so glad you enjoyed!! Thanks so much for your rating and comment Mary!
I cook Chicken Ruby without 'tweaks' and include Dishoom's recipe for garam masala, which is omitted from your version of the recipe and from the Guardian's. The slowly roasted garam masala adds a vital element to the dish that cannot be replicated by commercial brands. The last time I cooked this curry, I spooned off the excess fat and used it as a base for another recipe. Admittedly, this curry has made me a more rounded person - but guests love it.
Thanks for the recipe Lisa! I've got the Dishoom cookbook and tried the recipe a few times, sadly it's coming out a bit too sour/acidic with a bitter aftertaste if that makes any sense (compared to what I've had in the restaurant). I am not an experienced cook though, I've been thinking it may be the canned tomatoes I use, as the recipe does ask for a quite a lot! Do you have any advice for an inexperienced cook 🙂
It could be the tomatoes. I like using San Marzano Plum Tomatoes. I puree them in my blender before adding them. Also like Muir Glen organic tomatoes when I can't find San Marzano. Also, the best way to remedy an "acidic" or "sour" taste is to add fat. So if it turns out a bit sour, I suggest you add a little more butter or cream or olive oil or a little of each to the finished dish, stirring it through and tasting it, until you get it just right. I hope that helps. Please let me know how you fare.
DISHOOM is GLORIOUS and their Ruby Chicken divine, but I don't believe their cookbook lol. I've cooked it multiple times: Textbook, variations, super high quality ingredients, and it is not the same as the Ruby Chcken at Dishoom.
The marinade and chicken taste .
Thanks for posting 🙂 Indian food > anything else imo.
Woot woot - made Ruby Chix this eve - awesome, amazing, yummy. Loved the spices and the flavors..lick the spoon, scrape every last bit of sauce yummy good.
Only modification for us was using bone in thighs (in the time of Covid, use what you got). I skinned...and char-ed them well on bbq. Then added to the sauce as is. Was amazing - am sure a different taste profile than if used pieces..but it worked so well.
Will do this again for use!
Also will make the sauce and use with chickpeas, shrimp, etc.
Made last night. Was amazing. I've been to this Dishoom and was excited to see that Lisa was able to post a healthier version without compromising the flavor. A few things I changed... I added regular chili powder instead of the kind she suggested. I pressed the garlic instead of the two steps she suggested, and I minced the ginger instead of grating it. My grater was dull and I was impatient and I spaced out with the directions for the garlic. Wished I had cilantro and Pomegranate seeds. If I did then I would have given it 6 stars if I could.
in regards to the fenugreek-are you using a powder or seeds? And if seeds, do they breakdown???
Hi Sabra, I apologize for the ambiguity here. I just updated the recipe to clarify. The recipe calls for crushed fenugreek leaves - it's an optional ingredient so no worries if you can't find it. I had great results even when I omitted it.
Will using smoked instead of sweet paprika change the flavor profile negatively? Other than that, I’m only missing the yogurt — I actually like butter and heavy cream in recipes.
Wow, you are well stocked to have all those ingredients on hand. I don't think smoked paprika will work well here. I suggest you use a mild chili powder if you have one. If not, use a small amount of a hot chili powder or 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne. As for missing the yogurt, you may want to substitute buttermilk or milk in the marinade. Dairy has magical tenderizing powers over chicken. If you're a fan of cream and butter, you may want to go up to 2 tablespoons of butter in the Makhani sauce and 3/4 cup of cream - that's what they call for in the original recipe. I hope you enjoy the curry!
Can t wait.. we needed some variety and this looks like the ticket!
I hope you enjoy!!