This mouth watering Persian Celery Stew is a must-try. This is the vegetarian version and it's full of flavor!
4.67 from 3 votes

Persian Celery Stew - Khoreshte Karafs

Persian celery stew also known as khoresht karafs is a delicious Iranian stew made with celery stalks and herbs. This easy Persian stew can be made vegetarian as well.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 320 kcal


  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 7-8 celery stalks chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh mint finely chopped*
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 lb lamb stew meat (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 Persian dried limes
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Heat  2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

  2. Add celery, mint, parsley and saute until herbs start getting dark and release their aroma. Set aside. 

  3. In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil.

  4. Saute onion until golden. 

  5. Add in lamb meat stew with turmeric and black pepper. Saute until lamb is brown. 

  6. Add in sauteed celery and herbs to the lamb and onion mixture. 

  7. Cook for about a minute. Add in water and bring to simmer. 

  8. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes to and hour until the lamb is fully cooked and tender. 

  9. Pierce the dried Persian limes with a fork and add them to the stew. Cook for about 10-20 minutes until they soften. Press against the pot so they release their sour juice.  

  10. Season with salt. 

  11. Serve warm with Persian style white rice or saffron rice. 

Recipe Notes

* Too much mint makes the stew bitter, so don't overuse it.
** To make this stew vegetarian, use kidney beans or pinto beans instead of lamb. If using canned red kidney beans, rinse them.
*** If you cannot find dried lime, feel free to use lemon/lime juice.