Celery Stew

By Yasmin Kavari

In this video, Mama and I make Khoresh Karafs (Celery Stew)


  • 8 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound stew beef, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt, adjust as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 bunch celery, about 10 celery stocks
  • 3 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped (only the tough part of the stem removed)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dry mint
  • 3 whole Limu Omani, poked with a knife, (Persian dried limes)


In a large pot, heat half of the olive oil and saute the onions for about 10 minutes.

Add garlic, stewed meat, salt, pepper, and turmeric, and saute for an additional 5 minutes.

Add water, bring to a gentle simmer, cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

While the beef is simmering, in a large frying pan add the remainder of the olive oil and saute the celery pieces over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Once celery has slightly softened and picked up some color, add the chopped fresh parsley and mint and saute for an additional 10 minutes to remove some of the moisture and enhance the flavor of the herbs. Add the dried mint, mix it into the mixture and remove it from the heat.

Mix this celery and herb mixture with the beef stew, add the dried Persian limes, cover, and cook for 1.5 hours over low heat.

The stew should be fragrant with the herbs and dried lime, and the meat and celery tender.

Serve with Persian saffron basmati rice and a side of plain yogurt or Maast-khiar (yogurt, cucumber, mint, and rose petals).

Persian Rice:

  • 3 cups Basmati Rice
  • 8 cups Water
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • ⅛ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 tbsp Bloomed Saffron
  • 2 Flour Tortillas Lavash or any type of thin bread (whole or cut into pieces)
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
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