Servings: Serves 6
To make masala: Mix spices in a small cup until blended. Set aside.
To make curry: Puree tomatoes, ginger, tomato paste, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat; add cumin, fenugreek seeds, and mustard seeds. Fry 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until they begin to pop (be careful not to burn them). Add onions, chilies, curry leaves, garlic, and 1 tablespoon masala; cook 8 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Stir in tomato mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until curry resembles a thick gravy.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss shrimp with salt and remaining 1 tablespoon masala until coated. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. When oil is rippling, add 10 shrimp and sear 20 seconds per side, until shrimp firm up and turn pink (they will still be raw in center). Remove to a plate. Sear remaining shrimp in 2 more batches.
Stir shrimp into tomato mixture; cook an additional 3 minutes, or until shrimp are fully cooked through (cut one with a knife to check doneness). Transfer curry to a serving bowl and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Note: Garam masala is a blend of up to 12 different spices that originated in northern India. If you have store-bought masala, you can use it in place of step one. Fresh curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, and black mustard seeds are available at www.kalustyans.com.
From the March 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!