Celery Stew – Khoresh Karafs

I’ve been getting fresh produce deliveries from The Produce Box this spring, and two weeks ago I received three beautiful bunches of NC-grown celery. The celery has very thin stalks compared to grocery store celery, because it’s a different variety that is able to grow in this climate. In addition, there were a lot of wonderful leaves.

That’s a lot of celery for one person!  In thinking about how to use it, I remembered an Iranian dish called Celery Khoresh, or Khoresh Karafs. Khoresh, you may remember from previous posts, is a stew usually consisting of meat and vegetables. In past posts, I have shared recipes for chicken and artichoke khoresh and yogurt-simmered chicken khoresh.  Today’s recipe is a celery and beef stew.

I looked at two recipes online and cobbled together my own version based on what was available in my pantry.   My version below will serve 4-6 people.

Celery Khoresh
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. turmeric
1.5 lbs. stew meat (beef or lamb, cut into cubes)

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and slowly saute the onions and garlic until they are starting to brown. Add the turmeric and stir to cook about 1 more minute. Then add the stew meat and turn up the heat a bit. Stir until the meat is sealed on all sides, it will probably not have enough room to brown the meat unless you have a very wide pot, and that’s ok. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a simmer.


1 Tbsp. olive oil
Celery, 3 cups chopped
2 Tbsp. dried mint
1 c. parsley or celery leaves

Meanwhile, chop up your celery into 1-inch pieces, and saute them in oil until they are starting to brown around the edges. Add in the mint and celery leaves and stir until wilted. Add to the meat stew. There should be enough water to just cover everything, but you can add more as needed.

Add 1 tsp. salt, cover and simmer for about 1.5 hours.  Remove the lid from the pot and add;

6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp. lime zest
1 Tbsp. dried mint
2 tsp. dried dill
1/2 c. parsley or celery leaves
juice from one lime

Cook for another 30 minutes uncovered, so that the liquid reduces somewhat. Just at the end, stir in the juice of one lime and season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.

It’s quite tasty, but you have to really like celery!  Which I do.

celery khoresh


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