Khari machhi, which means “just plain fish,” is a dish so basic, so unadorned that Parsis consider it suitable for convalescents. Like so many simple things in Parsi food, its depth of flavor is astonishing. When my mother and I were making this dish together, I asked why we didn’t use adu lasan, the paste of ginger and garlic with which nearly every Parsi savory dish has to begin. “You don’t use ginger with fish,” said my mother sternly, but she didn’t have an answer to the inevitable “Why?” except to say that her mother said so. If her mother had been Chinese, she would not have been allowed to cook fish without ginger.
Use any type of white-fleshed fish you like, such as pompano, cod, snapper, or striped bass. Serve it with steamed basmati rice or another rice of your choice, ladling the poaching liquid over fish and rice alike.
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