Every so often, we scour the site for cool recipes from our community that we then test, photograph, and feature. This one comes from Farideh (cookingProf), who learned how to make this celery and chicken stew from her grandmother. Here, she shares few key notes about how to modify the recipe to suit your preferences.
Unlike the cold-weather seasonal stew fesenjoon, which is rich and calorie-dense, khoresht-e-karafse (herbed celery chicken) is a delicate summertime favorite on most Iranian dinner tables.
Iranian food, especially stews that are served over rice, owes its innate zingy-ness to something called chosheni, an acidic ingredient added during the last stage of cooking. Lemon or lime juice, sour grape juice, pomegranate juice, and wine vinegar are all great examples of chosheni.
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In my recipe, I used lemon juice as chosheni. However, another way to give this stew its tangy taste is to add half a cup of thinly sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. Sour grape juice also works very well.
Khoresht-e-karafse can also be made using slow-simmered lamb shank or stew-sized chunks of lamb or beef. When using lamb or beef, fried onions are essential. Thinly slice and fry a large onion, sprinkle them with a teaspoon of turmeric, and add the yellowed onions to the meat before cooking. Partially cooked lamb or beef can be finished off in a crock pot along with the celery and herb mixture for three or four hours. As delicate as celery might seem, it actually holds up very well.
I was gifted with the love for cooking as a very young girl growing up in Tehran. I would follow my grandmother to the fresh produce market every day in summer days and help carry her basket home. I would then stand around at her foot in the kitchen and she would reward me with delicious morsels of the food she was cooking.
My two prominent occupations/preoccupations are cooking and teaching computer science/writing computer programs. I find both equally rewarding.