Texas Farmers Market Leaderboard January 2021

Poha-Crusted Black Drum with Tomato-Kalonji Curry and Fresh Arugula


Courtesy of Chefs Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher, Lenoir
Photography by Knoxy

This dish makes good use of tomatoes that may not look pretty, but have terrific flavor. We like to crust one side of the fish we're using with poha, or flattened rice flakes, for texture and the scaly look of it. The tomato curry in this dish is really the star, and the arugula adds a nice peppery, fresh bite to offset all of the roasted flavor and spice.

Suggested wine pairing: Heidi Schrock Weissburgunder, Neusiedlersee-Huggeland, Austria, 2009


Poha-Crusted Black Drum with Tomato-Kalonji Curry and Fresh Arugula


For 4 Person(s)


  • For the tomato-kalonji curry:
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 1 6-in. piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 16 medium-size tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 4 tablespoons coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoons fenugreek seed
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 4 cloves, whole
  • 2 tablespoons onion seed (also known as nigella seeds)
  • 1 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 For the black drum fish:
  • 1 cups poha flakes
  • 4 boneless, skinless black drum fish fillets
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch fresh arugula, washed and dried

Poha-Crusted Black Drum with Tomato-Kalonji Curry and Fresh Arugula Directions

  1. Prepare the curry. In a saucepan, sweat the onion, shallot and ginger in the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook down.
  2. Toast all of the spices except the onion seed in a medium-hot skillet and add to the tomatoes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Add the onion seed, Tabasco and fish sauce, test for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Keep warm.
  3. Put the poha flakes on a plate, season the fillets with salt and pepper and press one side of each fillet into the flakes to create an even crust.
  4. In a medium saucepan, drizzle a little grapeseed oil and place the fish, poha-side down, into the pan. Cook until the poha develops color then flip over, add the butter to the pan and baste the fillets with the butter until medium-rare. Remove from the heat, drain on a paper towel then serve a fillet on each of 4 plates with the hot tomato curry and a side of the fresh arugula.

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