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Khoresh-e Karafs

Hami Sharafi

Khoresh-e Karafs

Khoresh-e Karafs is a flavour-packed lamb stew with fragrant herbs and juicy celery. It’s Ghormeh Sabzi’s largest competitor when it comes to popular Persian stews. Let the irresistible aroma of mint fill your kitchen when you prepare this hearty stew with a hint of fresh tartness and fall-apart-tender lamb.

  • 120+ Minutes
  • Hard
  • Serves 4




  • 400g Tilda Grand Extra Long Basmati Rice
  • 500 g lamb leg or shoulder, cut into inch-sized cubes
  • Any bones that come with the meat (optional)
  • 300g celery (7 to 10 stalks)
  • 200g fresh parsley
  • 60g fresh mint
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp saffron, ground
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Salt to taste


  1. Sprinkle the ground saffron over the ice cubes in a glass and set them aside to melt.

  2. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic, keeping them separate. Finely chop the parsley and mint, keeping them separate as well.

  3. Sear the meat and any bones that may come with it in a few tbsp vegetable oil over high heat until golden brown all around. Remove them from the pan.

  4. Gently caramelise the onions in the same oil for about 15 minutes, adding extra vegetable oil if needed. Add the garlic and let both sauté together for another 3 minutes.

  5. Fry the chopped parsley in about 4 tbsp vegetable oil for about 15 minutes until dark green in colour. Remove the fried parsley from the pan.Now fry the chopped mint in 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. This only takes 1 to 2 minutes, as mint burns quickly!

  6. Transfer onions, garlic, fried herbs, tomato paste, turmeric, black pepper and meat to a pot or pan with a lid and combine everything. Cover the ingredients with 500ml of freshly boiled water. Season with salt, combine well and let the Khoresh-e Karafs simmer over low to medium temperature for about 1.5h, stirring occasionally and adding small amounts of hot water if it becomes too thick and dry.

  7. Transfer the Tilda Grand Extra Long Basmati Rice to a bowl or strainer and wash it until the draining water runs almost clear.

  8. Bring a pot full of water with 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Transfer the washed rice to it and quickly bring the water back to boiling. Let the rice parboil for 3 minutes, then drain and rinse it with cool water.

  9. Combine part of the parboiled rice with a few teaspoons of saffron water until it is evenly yellow.

  10. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to a non-stick pot and place it over medium heat. Transfer the saffron rice to the pot and spread it out evenly.

  11. Then add the remaining parboiled rice to it. Poke three holes halfway through the rice with the back of a spoon. Cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel and close it firmly. Reduce the temperature to low and let the rice steam for 45 minutes, without removing the lid.

  12. Chop the celery into 1-inch-long pieces. Sauté them in 1 tbsp of vegetable oil for about 5 minutes and add them to the stew in the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

  13. At the end of the cooking time season the Khoresh-e Karafs with the juice of one lemon and more salt, if needed.

  14. Once the rice is steamed, remove the lid and replace it with an upside-down plate. Carefully flip it over. Remove the crispy tahdig to serve separately. Combine part of the rice with a few teaspoons of saffron water once again. Arrange the saffron rice on top of the gorgeously fluffy white rice and serve it with the hearty lamb and herb stew with celery. Enjoy!