This Chicken Ruby Curry knockoff from Dishoom is so incredibly easy to make and very flavorful for a curry without coconut milk. Spices like cinnamon and garam masala are combined to make a flavorful tomato curry sauce. It’s an easy and healthy weeknight meal.
Dishoom’s Chicken Ruby
When I visited London around Christmas, everyone recommended I try Indian food, and more specifically, a restaurant called Dishoom.
Thankfully Tom scored some tickets to the Arsenal game and took my husband, leaving me a full evening of un-judged shopping on Oxford Street with my friend Ellen. We decided to grab a bite to eat at about 9pm that night, just as most restaurants were beginning to close. I remembered a lot of my readers recommended trying Dishoom and it wasn’t too far from us, so we made a beeline for the restaurant.
Apparently going late at night is key to not having to wait forever for this popular restaurant. We slid into a back corner table and took a look at the menu, settling on a few things that I deemed as migraine-friendly as possible. One of these was the chicken ruby. It was so cozy, flavorful, and downright delicious. We couldn’t get enough.
An Easy Chicken Curry
When I returned to the states I set out to re-create this dish at home. But all the recipes I found online were so involved. Crush up coriander seeds? Um no, I don’t have time for that! That’s another dish that has to be washed! (Can you believe I have a food blog and think these things?)
So I played around with the simple, ground up versions of all the spices and bought pre-pureed tomatoes to make my life a little bit easier. To my delight, it came out pretty delicious.
I’m sure some die-hard fans will disagree this tastes like the original, which is fine. It’s not meant to be a total replacement of the original dish, but more of an easy version that’s inspired by the original.
Chicken Curry without Coconut Milk
One thing I really loved about this chicken curry dish was it didn’t contain coconut milk, which most Thai curries do. It also doesn’t have yogurt, which you’ll find in a lot of Indian cooking as well. Both of these are meant to be eliminated on the Heal Your Headache migraine diet.
Sometimes I like to add a little bit of heavy cream to it, which I believe is more similar to the original dish. I’ve made this with and without cream and both ways are tasty. If you avoid dairy, you can use ghee (if tolerated) or oil and simply leave out the cream.
My future sister in law is allergic to coconut and almost every healthy meal seems to contain it these days, so I love making her dishes like this chicken curry without coconut milk!
Vegan & Vegetarian Options
The original recipe is made with chicken, however the real star of this whole dish is the sauce. It’s kinda soupy and you’ll want to soak it up with some pita or naan bread.
For anyone trying to make this vegetarian or vegan, adding chickpeas would be a wonderful substitute for meat, or you could put the sauce on top of rice or quinoa.
Ingredients for Chicken Ruby
The bay leaves are great to add to soups, like this chicken and brown rice soup, or chicken stock. I also love the flavor and sometimes add a leaf to my sparkling water along with a sprig of fresh rosemary and cucumber for an herbal mocktail.
Garam masala is a mixture of warm spices that we’re also adding here like cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin. It’s often found in Indian cooking.
Ghee is just clarified butter with the milk solids removed. Those who are sensitive to dairy may find themselves able to tolerate ghee. You can find it at most grocery stores, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It’s also available on Amazon.
I hope you all enjoy this very simple knockoff of Dishoom’s chicken ruby curry and that you love the flavors as much as I do! Please note, this recipe is a little higher in histamine, so if you find yourself sensitive to tomatoes, cinnamon, etc. this is probably not the one for you. Consider making one of these other lovely soups, like the Chicken and Rice, or Spaghetti Squash and Lemongrass.
Easy Chicken Ruby Curry
- 1/4 cup ghee or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt * I use Diamond Brand which is less salty than Morton's, adjust accordingly
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups strained tomatoes *I used Pomi brand
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 lbs boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (OPTIONAL)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- In a small bowl, combine the cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, kosher salt and garam masala. In a large, deep saucepan, melt ghee (butter or oil is ok too) over medium heat. Add the small bowl of spices and stir in the pan until nice and fragrant, about a minute. Add chopped shallots, minced garlic and ginger and continue to stir as they soften. Mix in the tomato paste and cook another minute or two, until it darkens a little bit.
- Add the 2 cups of strained tomatoes along with 1/2 cup broth and the honey, bring to a mild simmer over medium-low. Add the chopped chicken, if using, and simmer for about 20 minutes until cooked through. I recommend a splatter screen to avoid any tomato messes.
- The last 5 minutes, stir in the cumin and heavy cream, if using, and continue to simmer over medium heat to thicken everything up. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through and everything is seasoned the way you like it. Serve with pita or naan bread, or over brown rice.
- To make this vegetarian, leave out the chicken and either add chickpeas or simply serve the sauce on top of rice or quinoa.
- Trader Joe's has frozen migraine-friendly naan bread (double check there is no yogurt in your specific store).
- I often add an extra teaspoon of garam masala as I love the flavor, but this version appears to be the most popular with the crowd. Taste and adjust the seasonings after simmering.
- The cream adds a layer of decadence but it's not necessary for a great dish if you are looking for a dairy free option.