Khoresh Karafs - Celery Stew



Celery stew (Khoresh Karafs) is another healthy and delicious Iranian dish. It's a combination of meat, evenly sliced celery, finely chopped parsley, a little bit of mint (preferably fresh), fresh squeezed lime juice and the right amount of seasoning. In my opinion, what makes Iranian food tasty, especially for most of the casseroles and stews (khoreshes), is the slow cooking process and the taking time to let the food simmer in order to bring out the flavors and as we say in Iran, (ja biofteh). Khoresh-e karafs like ghormeh sabzi and fesenjoon will be fully cooked in 1 1/2 to 2 hours. However, it is better to cook them on the lowest heat setting for an additional hour at least. Most of us Iranians agree that the next day khoresh leftovers usually taste better. So, you may want to plan ahead for your next meal and cook them in advance.




Khoresh Karafs - Celery Stew

Ingredients:
Serves 4-6

1 pound meat (beef or lamb), washed and cut into cubes
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 head of celery, washed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, finely chopped or 2-3 tablespoons dried mint
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons lime/lemon juice (can be adjusted to your liking)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil
Water

Method:

  1. In a large pot, saute chopped onions in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until they become light golden brown. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes. 
  2. Add the turmeric and the meat, stir and brown the meat on all sides. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Then add 2-3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook.
  4. In a large frying pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat, saute celery until soft, add parsley and mint, stir well and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the sauteed vegetables to the pot, adjust the seasoning, add more water if needed, cover and continue cooking for another hour and a half or when the meat is fully cooked.
  6. Add the lime juice toward the end of cooking.
Serve with rice and salad.

Enjoy!

21 comments:

  1. I made this recipe too! This is delicious. Thanks again! I love your blog!

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  2. Mitra, thank you for stopping by and letting me know. I'm glad you liked it.

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  3. One stalk of celery to me means one stem. The whole 'bunch' I am used to calling a 'head of celery'. That's the plant as you cut it out of the field. Judging by the photo, you need a lot of stalks, probably one head to make this dish.

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  4. yes, you need a head of celery for this dish. thank you!

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  5. I have this simmering on the stove now - can't wait to dig in! Azita, I need to say that I LOVE your blog!! I try to cook something from here, often as my husband is Persian. Keep up the good work!!!

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  6. Kerry, Noush-e jan! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I'm so glad that you find this blog useful!

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  7. I made this recipe and it was yummy. I am the worst cook on the planet so your recipe must be great..

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  8. Anonymous,thank you and I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

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  9. Cheers, glad I could find a classic dish like this with a good reliable recipe :)

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  10. I am trying this recipe tonight... Karafs is one of my FAVORITE Persian dishes. SO EXCITED!

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  11. Hi Azita, I'm enjoying looking at your recipes and being half Persian myself but having grown up in the UK, I especially like it as it is yet another connection for me to my Iranian heritage and the delicious food that I love so much! I have fond fond memories of my Granny's cooking and would stay with her in the kitchen and ask her how to cook things at every available opportunity. I now am married to an Iranian man who also loves cooking and so I have been learning with him too. Can you advise me about the use of onion and garlic together in a Khoresh? As far as I know from a traditional standpoint, the two do not get used together for khoreshe's in observance of the need to balance hot and cold properties of the ingredients, however, I do see many khoresh recipes using both onion and garlic and wonder if it depends upon the other ingredients as to whether both or one or the other is used? Or has this way of cooking fazed out naturally and in modern Iranian cooking both are used? Your blog layout and photo's are beautiful Azita and it is obvious that this blog is a labour of love for you xx Thankyou

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    1. Hi Jilah, still to this day, the hot and cold properties of food is very much observed in Iranian cooking and our daily food consumption. Onion is always used in making a khoresh and we usually start the stew by frying the onion. However, the use of garlic depends on the type of recipe and the region. For instance, I use it when I make a khoresh with eggplant, okra, celery, shrimp or fish, just to name a few. Thank you very much for your kind words.

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  12. Hi Azita,
    I am still discovering your wonderful blog and food. This time I did the celery stew. It was very tasty, however, as I did it with beef, the meat turned out a bit dry. After so long cooking time it was soft but not juicy anymore.
    Azita, if you prepare it from beef, what part of beef do you usually use? Maybe mine was too lean?
    Wioletta

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    1. Hi Wioletta, I usually get boneless beef chuck for this stew and trim the excess fat.

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  13. Dear Azita,

    Today, I made khoresht bademjan with your recipe, for the first time, and for my wife and my family. I was trying to see if I am any good in cooking a real Persian dish. It came out great and everyone praised it. Thank you very much for such good recipes and keeping this blog. It is a great service to Persian cooking.
    Best regards,
    Soheil

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    1. Thank you Soheil jan for your kind comment and I am so glad your family enjoyed the recipe.

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  14. I just made it today! Great recipe!!! Came out delicious!! thank you for a great website!

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  15. Hi Azita,

    My name is Fariba and I would love to find a great Aub Gousht Recipe. I haven't had it for maybe 20 years, but my dentist mentioned it yesterday and I been craving it since. If you have one, I would love to try it. Thanks very much! By the way, I too am enjoying your blog and got on hear to find out more about Khorushte Karfse ingredients. Thanks again!!

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  16. Would this taste good with chicken? I am on a diet and cannot eat red meat or lamb. I would like to try this, but if it won't really work with chicken, I can just make another dish (any low calorie Persian recipe suggestions?).

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    1. Yes, this recipe tastes delicious with chicken too.

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