Khoresht Karafs (Persian Celery Stew)

It is definitely true that most Persian food, no matter how delicious it tastes, looks absolutely horrendous no matter how much effort you put into presenting it. There's hardly a time that when you Google a Persian dish that you can find something that looks like you'd want to actually eat it, let alone cook it. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. Truth be told, Persian cuisine is one of my favourites--except for the copious amounts of oil that most dishes use, the light aromatic fragrance of the food can really blow your mind away.

This stew is very similar to Ghormeh Sabzi, but with a considerably strong, but fresh, celery flavour. It takes just as long and uses about a bazillion tonnes of oil to fry up the vegetables, but being a tad bit health conscious, the oil this particular time was brought down to 4tbsp at least (after a lot of whinging and protesting, of course). Overall, the stew tasted great, despite what it looks like in the photos, but one thing that stopped it from getting 5 points was the slight bitterness it had in its aftertaste. Something that was probably the fault of the artificial/synthetic-tasting bottled lime juice we bought at the store last week (yuck). 

Ease of Cooking Yummy Factor Apprx. Cost
HK$70 (US$9)
Ingredients (Serves 2)
200g beef, cubed
300g celery, cut in half inch pieces
100g parsley, finely chopped
50g celery leaves, finely chopped
50g mint, finely chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup lime juice
4tbsp oil
1tbsp turmeric
Salt and pepper

Fry the onion till its golden brown.
Add meat and stir fry for 10 mins.
In a separate non-stick pan, fry the finely chopped vegetables with turmeric, salt and pepper until their color becomes a very dark green.
Add in celery sticks to the herb mix and stir fry for another 5 mins.
Mix the fried vegetables, meat and three cups of boiling water in a stew pot. Stew on low heat for 45 mins.
Add lime juice and adjust spices if needed. Stew for another 90 mins adding boiling water, if necessary to compensate for the evaporation.
Enjoy with steamed Basmati rice.

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