A blend of traditional Indian spices brings this dish to life.
Servings: Serves 6
Garam masala:
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper  
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 5 large fresh tomatoes (3 pounds), cored and cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoon peeled, chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 2 large onions , finely chopped
  • 3 large fresh green chilies (such as poblano, Anaheim, or New Mexico), stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala (above)
  • 2 1/2 pounds shrimp (about 12 shrimp to a pound), shelled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes , sliced into 6 wedges
 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.


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