Khoresh Karafs with Meat and Rice (Persian Celery Stew)

Khoresh karafs is one of the most nutritious Iranian stews. Celery stew is prepared from celery, meat, onion, mint, parsley, and spices. Unlike the bitter taste of celery juice, which has been used for weight loss since ancient times, Iranian celery stew has a very delicious taste.

I was never connected with khoreh karafs or celery stew until I came across a great recipe. Celery recipe that my wife made for me. The taste of the first celery stew that I ate has not left my mind yet. The excellent taste and aroma of fresh celery combined with ghooreh make a great stew.

Just try this great recipe once, and it will become a regular weekly meal. I prepare this stew even for my guests and they have the same opinion after eating this stew. This stew is placed Beside stews with vegetables like ghormeh sabzi

What is Khoresh Karafs?

persian celery stew

Khoresh karafs is a plant full of vitamins that are very useful in the culinary industry. The history of celery goes back to the time of ancient Greece. A French proverb says that if people knew about the vitamins of celery, they would plant celery in their entire farms.

Annually,1000 million pounds of celery are produced in the United States, which shows the high importance of this valuable plant. It is a low-calorie plant and sometimes even with negative calories with a lot of minerals.

This plant is very suitable for people who are obese. For all these reasons, Persian celery stew should be an important choice among all people’s meals.

For: 4 people

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cook for: 210 minutes

Khoresh karafs ingredients:

Lamb’s thigh                    500 grams
Celery                    400 grams
Parsley                  150 grams
Celery leaves (cleaned and chopped)                100 grams
Mint (cleaned and chopped)   50 grams
Celery          400 grams
Onions                               2 medium
Limoo Amani                                                 6 pcs
Turmeric                           ½ tablespoon
Black pepper                                           ½ teaspoon
Salt   as needed


1. To make khoresht karafs, I use fresh celery and fresh herbs. So, first, I have to wash the celery and herbs and then chop them after they become dry. Be sure to pay attention to the amount of herbs, and do not use more than the mentioned amount of mint because mint makes the stew bitter.

You can chop the herbs with a knife or a food processor. If you chop them with a knife, make sure to chop finely. If you use a food processor to chop the herbs, I suggest that you use a few drops of oil inside the herbs so that they don’t drip when they are chopped.

2. Now, it’s the turn of the meat. I use mutton thigh. Because mutton is fattier and softer, it makes the stew tastier. It’s better not to chop the meat too finely because mutton becomes smaller when cooked.

cut meat for stew

3. In the meantime, I take the limoo amani and cut a few slices on them with a sharp knife. Then I fill a bowl with water, pour the limo Amani into it, and place a heavy object on it so that the lemons stay well in the water. For about 1 hour, let the lemons stay in the water to remove the bitterness.

4. Pour 4 to 5 spoons of oil into a frying pan, put the meats in it, and fry them to the extent that their color changes.

5. In another pan, I fry the herbs and celery. To do this, I first pour the herbs (mint and parsley) into the pan without oil and heat it until the water of the herbs steam, and then I pour oil and fry them.

You should not fry too much because it makes the herbs bitter. Note that herbs should be fried on a gentle heat and patiently.

fry vegetables

6. After the herbs are fried, I do the same thing with the celery and celery leaves. After their juice steams, I pour oil and fry them. The celery leaves should be chopped, but not very small, like mint and parsley.

cut celery for stew
cut celery for stew

You can chop the celery leaves with mint and parsley and fry them together. This is completely tasteful.

fry celery
fry celery

7. Now it’s time to make the stew. I peel the onions, wash them, and chop them very finely on the kitchen board. I take a suitable pan and pour oil and onions into it. After the onions are fried, I add spices to them.

In the first step, I pour turmeric and fry it a little with the onion until its raw smell is removed. Then I add black pepper. I always add salt in the last step when the meat is cooked because the salt makes the meat hard and slow to cook.

fry onion with spices
fry onion with spices

8. Now, I add the meat that I fried before, along with the fried herbs and celery, to the onion. To season this stew, I use verjuice and unripe grapes so that it has a slightly sour taste. But this is completely a matter of taste, and you can use only limoo Amani for seasoning.

add meat to stew
add meat to stew

9. Then I add the soaked limo Amani to the rest of the ingredients and finally add boiling water to it. Put the lid on the pot and increase the heat until it boils.

The stew is cooked for up to 4 hours. Remember to add salt at the last stage.

cook karafs with meat

10. After the stew is ready, I put it in the dish of my choice and eat it with my family and enjoy it.

khoresh karafs is ready
khoresh karafs is ready

What is served with khoresht karafs?

This excellent stew is served with Iranian rice along with various salads and desserts. One of these side dishes is zeytoon parvardeh and another one is torshi albaloo. Pickled cherries are very suitable for this dish because of its sour taste.
Among the Iranian pickles, we can also refer to torshi liteh, which is excellent and appropriate with the chopped pieces of various fruits and eggplants with vinegar. Also, pickles make food digest faster and make you feel light after eating.
You can also use dairy products and drinks with this stew. Dairy products such as Persian doogh, mast o khiar are also used with this dish on Iranian tables.

Nutritional value of Khoresh Karafs?

In general, the foods that are prepared with fresh vegetables are always full of vitamins and many properties. Considering that this stew is made from celery, it also contains the excellent properties of celery.
It has properties such as various vitamins, fiber, calcium, and magnesium.
Also, celery is an anti-cancer plant. A lot of fiber and water present in the stalk of celery can also cure constipation. In general, this food is recommended for all people from children to adults.

Notes for khoresh-e karafs recipe:

  • To prepare this stew, choose crisp and fresh celery and avoid buying celery that has a dark green color.
    To prepare celery, take its thick leaves and clean and arrange the stem and small leaves.
     The amount of mint should be 1/4 of the amount of parsley so that the stew does not become bitter.
  • To cook celery stew, use young and thin celery, and do not use green and hard celery for this purpose. If you are using lamb, you can fry the celery in the beginning with the lamb.
  • But if you use veal, it is better to add chopped celery and herbs after an hour of cooking the meat to prevent them from being crushed.
  • Be sure to pay attention to the fact that the vegetables used in the stew must be completely dried after washing and then chopped. Otherwise, they will be crushed during cooking.
  • If you want to use the tomato paste in the celery stew, add it after the meat is fried.
  • To make this stew more sour, you can use a little ghare ghoroot in this stew.
  • Adding too much water to celery stew will make it not glazed enough.

FAQ for khoresh karafs


  • How many calories khoresh karafs have?

Khoresh karafs calories are 27cal in 1 spoon.

  • What are the vitamins in cooked celery?

Vitamin A,B1,C,K,E,D,B3,B4,B5,B6,B9,B12.

  • How long does it take to cook khoresh karafs?

We need at least 3 hours to cook this stew.

  • Is khoresh karafs healthy?

This food is the healthiest food with vegetables

  • What is Khoresh Karafs in English?

Persian Celery stew consists of celery, meat, and vegetables. “Khoresh” in English means stew. And “Karafs” means celery.

Did you like this recipe?

  • Please share your experience with Khoresh-e Karafs.
  • If you are looking for vegetarian food, I suggest this stew without meat: khoresh karafs vegetarian.
  • You can ask me questions about Persian celery stew and celery in the comments. I will answer your questions as soon as possible.
  • If you cook this food and love the taste of it, please share your pic with us on Facebook & mail.

Pictures in the recipe are sourced:


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Chef Haghighi

I am Chef Haghighi with ten years of cooking experience and setting up many restaurants and fast food in Iran and Turkey. I am interested in writing recipes on my website. I have the TCA international culinary qualification.I have the experience of successfully launching more than 20 restaurants and fast food in USA and Turkey. I have opened all kinds of traditional restaurants and fast food in Iranian and Turkish style. You can contact me for advice on equipping restaurants and fast food In the shortest possible time and for free, I will provide you with advice on buying fast food equipment and setting up a fast food restaurant.

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    1. Hi dear Zeynab, tnx for your comment, Yes Although we have written many tips for Persian celery stew. But I will definitely write more tips for you in the next updates.

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