If it’s simple food with a big flavour you’re looking for, Persian khoresht karafs, or celery stew, can help with healthy living.
There is nothing less appealing as a new mum over 40 than spotting a head of celery in the fridge. I had bought it to dice up in a salad after being told I was obese at my six-week check. But now it was just there and would have been destined for the bin if my husband H hadn’t intervened.
Being Persian he has taught me to love my greens. So this time, he suggested making a dish I had in the past only made from a tin – khoresht karafs. It sounds a lot more exotic than plain old celery stew now doesn’t it?
Recipe is a story
A recipe is like a code that’s really easy when you know, but looks complicated when you first see it. Once you know the code, a recipe becomes as easy as reading a story.
And this is what each recipe is – a story. Each has a beginning when you’re preparing everything, a middle when you have to go from preparing to cooking. And finally an end when you have the perfect stew for everyone to eat and enjoy.
Khoresht karafs combines celery, lamb, parsley, mint, lime juice and seasoning and is served with rice. The only downside is the length of time it takes to cook to bring out the flavours. This is roughly about three hours. If you make enough however, leftovers always taste better the next day. Here’s the recipe:
How to make khoresht karafs:
In a large pan, saute the chopped onions in vegetable/corn oil over a medium heat until they are translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the turmeric and the meat, stir and brown the meat on all sides. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a larger pot and add three cups of water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for about an hour.
In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over a low heat. Add the parsley, mint and dill to the pan and fry. Do not let the herbs turn black. Once cooked, set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over a medium heat, saute the celery until golden brown and soft.
Add the parsley, mint and dill and celery to the pot with the lamb/beef in it, adjust the seasoning. Then add more water if necessary, cover and continue cooking for another two hours until the meat has fully cooked.
Add the lime juice towards the end of the cooking. Serve with Persian rice and nooshe joonam (bon appetit!)