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  • Writer's pictureZia Khoshsirat

Historical Evidence of A Gilaki Food: Pala Kooli (پله کۊلي)

Rice and fish, Pala Mahi (IPA [pələ mähi]) is a delicious dish in Caspian region. But how old is this food? I think I found the oldest evidence in an 800 yrs Gilaki poem. As I said in my first post (, Divan-e Sharafshah-e Dulaei is the oldest attested (reliable) text in Gilaki. In one of his poem, he talks about a food which is one of the best rice dish in Gilan, Kooli (kind of fish) and rice. As a person who loves cooking, I think it is interesting to see the history of Gilaki foods. This the second dish I am finding in old books. I will post the second one soon. Kooli is a type of fish lives in Caspian sea (bottom picture), served fried with sticky rice (Shale Pala IPA [ʃələ pələ]) (middle picture).

In his poem, Sharafshah says (top picture): "Oh my heart, do not be unhappy about eating Kooli and rice Do not remind yourself of Halva and Sibli Hurry up, do not be obstinate, sleep, do not rubberneck You are Gil, do not fight like Mongol" مي ديل جه پلا ۊ کۊلي خۊردن گلي مکن شؤ نيمه يادٚ حلوا ۊ سبلي مکن زۊ با سردمپيچ فۊضۊلي مکن تۊ گيلي وا من شلتاغٚ مغۊلي مکن It is interesting that Sharafsha identifies himself as Gil (people form lowland regions, farmers?).

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