Celery stew (Khoresht-e-Karafs) has been one of my favourite Iranian dishes since my childhood. I love the aroma of the herbs and celery, it smells so fresh and comforting! A few notes I would like to add: 1. Celery is the star of this dish, so buy organic (and local when in season) if you can since it has a lot more falvour and I find it really makes this dish taste much better. 2. Some add yellow split peas to this dish but since I can’t have legumes or beans I don’t add it to mine. 3. Also, if you like you can sauté one chopped onion and a clove of garlic before adding the chicken, again I’m avoiding onion and garlic so I don’t have it in my recipe.
3-4 (about 2 pounds) Chicken Breast Halves (I use bone-in, skinless)
2 Heads of (preferably organic) Celery (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
(finely chop the green leafy parts as well, they have a lot of flavour!)
2 Bunches of Parsley (finely chopped)
1 Bunch Mint (finely chopped) – you can use 1-2 Tbsp dried mint instead if you don’t have fresh mint
1 Tbsp. Red Palm Oil (or ghee or coconut oil)
1/2 Tsp. turmeric
1 Tsp. Ginger Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Coriander Seed
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
2 Tsp. Powdered Dry Sour Grape (or unripe grape, “Ghooreh” in Farsi)
1/8 Tsp. Powdered Saffron
4 Cups Homemade Bone (or chicken) Broth (you can use water but broth has a lot more flavour and is more nutritious)
Juice of 1/2-1 Lime (can be adjusted to your liking)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Cut the chicken breasts into small pieces (1.5 – 2 inch)
2. In a large pot, heat the oil, add the chicken and brown the meat on all sides over medium-high heat. Add the spices, salt (I use around 1 Tsp but my homemade bone broth has no salt, so start with less and taste and adjust to your liking) and pepper. Stir to coat the chicken with spices and cook for about 15 mins.
3. Add the chopped celery, parsley, and mint and stir well. Saute for another 10 mins over medium heat.
4. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for about an hour and a half.
5. Turn off the heat once the stew is cooked, add the fresh lime juice and more salt if needed. Serve hot with some basmati rice if you like. Enjoy!