Ruby Red Chicken Makhani

1 June 2020 By

This dish pays homage to Bombay restaurant chain Dishoom. When I first came across their recipe for Ruby Chicken I was intrigued just by the title alone.

I just love the sound of this dish, it makes me so happy. The plus side is that it’s a truly beautiful vibrant dish and with both my tikka masala and butter chicken concentrate pastes playing vital roles, you’ll be able to pull this recipe off remarkably well.

It’s not an easy recipe by any means, but I have made it easier than if you were to make a Tikka and Makhani Sauce from scratch. I highly recommend doubling this recipe and perhaps even tripling just the grilled Chicken Tikka component. It’s that GOOD! You can get a much better result too if you use your bbq for grilling the tikka pieces but if you’re using your home oven like I did you can also recreate that smokey flavour a barbeque imparts by using our tips in the recipe.

The actual cooking is just slightly over an hour, once you have all your ingredients sorted and ready. A great recipe for a dinner party as you can literally prepare the marinade and Makhani Sauce a day or two ahead and just assemble on the feasting day. The end result is a sophisticated dish you’d normally be served in a great restaurant.  So this dish is definitely something worth celebrating with a group of friends, along with some creamy dhal and fluffy naans all washed down with a good bottle of ruby red wine.🍷 A truly memorable dish, your guests are unlikely to forget.

This is a recipe that you can adapt for using with paneer, roast cauliflower, broccoli and other vegetables as well.

Ingredients − Serves 6


  • 1 kg skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 4 cm chunks
  • 1 quantity makhani sauce (see below)
  • 20 bamboo skewers, soaked (optional) a grill can be used instead
  • 50 g melted ghee
  • 1 charcoal piece if a smokey flavour is desired

Marinade for Chicken Tikka

Makhani Sauce (Butter Cream Sauce)

  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • ½ jar Latasha’s Kitchen Butter Chicken Concentrated Sauce
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground toasted cumin
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 400 g tin Mutti brand cherry tomatoes
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, oven roasted, peeled and roughly mashed/diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Latasha’s Kitchen Garam Masala (optional)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • 50 g jaggery or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (lighty toasted and crushed to a powder between your fingers)
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill fronds, finely chopped
  • 100 ml double cream


  • 1 tbsp finely cut fresh ginger matchsticks
  • Few mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Fried garlic slices
  • 50 ml double cream, lightly whipped with a fork to drizzle over finished platter
  • Lemon wedges

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For the marinade

  1. Blitz all the marinade ingredients in a blender or small food processor.
  2. Place the chicken thighs (cut into 4 cm chunks) into a bowl and add the marinade. Coat the chicken well, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

To prepare the Makhani Sauce

  1. Place a large deep saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Next add sliced garlic and gently fry until the garlic slices just start to turn golden and crispy. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  2. Next add Latasha’s Kitchen Butter Chicken Concentrated Sauce, chilli, ginger and cumin powders. Cook 3-4 minutes then add both the tinned tomatoes and roasted tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Cool this mixture then transfer to a blender to obtain a smooth fine consistency or use a stick blender or food processor.
  3. In the same deep pan, add the butter and gently fry all the whole spices and fresh bay leaves until sizzling and aromatic.
  4. Then add blended tomatoes, salt and Latasha’s Kitchen Garam Masala (optional).  Bring to a gentle bubble, then turn the heat down low and simmer for around 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by at least half. Stir regularly to make sure it does not catch.
  5. Add lemon juice and zest, jaggery or brown sugar, runny honey, crushed fenugreek leaves and fresh dill fronds to the saucepan.
  6. Cook for another 15 minutes until the sauce is thick.
  7. If serving immediately add 80 g double cream and simmer for 5 more minutes. If using later, cool the sauce and refrigerate it, adding the cream when you have reheated the sauce.

To cook the marinated Chicken Tikka

  1. Heat a grill to a medium high heat.
  2. Thread marinated chicken pieces onto soaked bamboo skewers (if using). Otherwise you can place chicken pieces directly on grill plate.
  3. Place the chicken pieces onto the grill rack and brush chicken with melted ghee. Grill for around 15 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is charred and cooked through.
  4. Carefully remove grilled Chicken Tikka from the skewers (if using), add to the Makhani Sauce and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  5. To serve, transfer to a bowl and top with ginger matchsticks, mint leaves and chopped coriander and the crispy sliced fried garlic (from Step 1 Makhani Sauce). Finish off by drizzling with some cream.
  6. Note if you’re grilling inside your home oven and would like a smokey flavour to your chicken this is what Indian home cooks do. Light one charcoal piece over the stove top and hold using a pair of tongs until the charcoal is white. Place it in a small stainless Indian bowl called a katori (as per thali bowls) and nestle the bowl in the middle of the grill plate. Alternatively place the charcoal in a small foil parcel on top of the chicken. Pour a tablespoon of ghee on the hot coal. This will ensure a beautiful smoky fragrance and will impart a smoky taste to the grilling tikka chicken pieces.