This mouth watering Persian Celery Stew is a must-try. This is the vegetarian version and it's full of flavor!
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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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Servings: 4
Calories: 320kcal


  • 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


  • Heat  2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Add celery, mint, parsley and saute until herbs start getting dark and release their aroma. Set aside. 
  • In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Saute onion until golden. 
  • Add in lamb meat stew with turmeric and black pepper. Saute until lamb is brown. 
  • Add in sauteed celery and herbs to the lamb and onion mixture. 
  • Cook for about a minute. Add in water and bring to simmer. 
  • Cover and cook for about 45 minutes to and hour until the lamb is fully cooked and tender. 
  • 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.  
  • Season with salt. 
  • Serve warm with Persian style white rice or saffron rice. 


* 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.


Calories: 320kcal