There are few things more comforting than stew during the holiday season and this Persian celery stew is no exception. Typically served with rice, this dish combines succulent meat with the crisp, aromatic flavor of celery, the brightness of a host of verdant herbs, and the earthy, citrus notes of dried limes. Aashpazi shares a quick, but hugely flavourful, iteration of the dish but you can add in prunes, pomegranate molasses, and/or beans should you want an added depth of flavour and texture. Also, feel free to substitute the meat of your choice; beef is recommended here but we've had khoresht karafs with lamb and chicken and they're equally delicious (although we do like the balance of a richer red meat and sharp celery!).
We strongly encourage you to use the leaves of the celery if you can. It can be difficult to find unsheared celery stalks at grocery stores but the leaves add such an important flavour that it's worth trying to find them! With or without celery leaves, this khoresht karafs makes a stunning hearty appetizer soup or a warming winter main course!
1 Bunch Celery
1/2 lb (226g) Stew Beef
1 Bunch Each: Mint, Celery Leaves, Parsley
Turmeric, Salt, Ground Chili Pepper
2 Dried Limes
4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Small Onion
Dice the onion.
Chop stew beef in small pieces.
3. Soak the dried limes in boiling water for 20 minutes.
4. Mince the Herbs (Celery leaves, parsley and mint).
5. Cut Celeries in 2 inch pieces.
6. Boil 4-5 Cups Water.
Fry the onions in a small pot with 2 tbsp vegetable oil until translucent .
Add the Chopped Stew beef to the pot, stir and continue frying until the beef becomes brown.
Add Turmeric, salt and ground chili pepper, stir and continue frying for 2 more minutes.
Pour in enough boiling water to the pot to cover the mixture by 2 inches (Approx. 1.5 cup Boiling water).
Cover the pot with the lid and simmer it for 75 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the chopped Celery with 2 tbsp Vegetable oil in a pot until they turn brighter green.
Add the minced herbs ( Mint, Celery Leaves, Parsley) to the pot, stir and fry along until the herbs become dark green.
Add the fried bergs and celery to the beef's pot, stir well until well mixed.
Cover the pot with the lid and continue cooking for 30 more minutes at low heat.
Make few holes into the soaked limes and add it to the pot.
Cook for 15 more minutes.