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Gluten-Free Main Dishes Paleo Persian

Khoresteh Havij: The Persian Version of Paleo Stews

Stuck in a food rut? Want something that warms you up from the inside out? Then check out today’s delicious Persian stew. It’s paleo, gluten-free, can easily be adapted to vegan/vegetarian diets, and is straight up healthy. Keep reading to learn more about this beautiful and easy Persian recipe that tastes good and is good for you!

Khoreshteh karafs

About Today’s Ingredients

Beef Stew Meat

beef stew meat

I know everyone always seems to be hating on beef and other red meats, but honestly I don’t mind a good steak or plate of ground beef meatballs every once in a while. And you shouldn’t worry either! Unless you have strong beliefs about vegetarianism or have strict medical orders not to eat red meat, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional beef stew.

This stew is actually loaded with B vitamins and iron. Better yet, the inclusion of lemon juice at the end is a rich source of vitamin C which can aid iron absorption.


tricolor carrots

For all you raw foodists out there, I hate to burst your bubble, but some vegetables actually have a higher nutrient content when they’re cooked. In this case, cooking carrots in a long simmer like this actually releases more vitamin A and beta carotene!

Photo Credit: Flickr

Sour Plums


This might not be a food you’re very familiar with, but it’s a very common ingredient in many Persian and Iranian dishes. You could use regular prunes if you’re having a hard time locating this ingredient. But with Amazon these days and about a million international markets, you should be able to find dried sour Persian plums.

Source: Dreamstime.com



This ingredient is again optional and very expensive, but if you can manage to get your hands on some saffron all the better. It adds a beautiful aromatic note to this dish that pales in comparison to the flavor of just using turmeric powder.




Source: Barnoosh

Also, quick side note here. Would you believe that THIS is where saffron is cultivated?!

saffron field

Source: Rowhani Saffron

What are some of your favorite paleo stews and foods in the colder months? Comment below and let me know!

Print Recipe
Khoreshteh Havij (Beef stew with carrots and sour plums)
  1. Sautee onion in 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil about 5-10 minutes. Remove extra fat from the beef stew pieces and chop into small pieces. Add the beef to the onion mixture and allow to sear for a couple of minutes. Then pour over enough water to cover and let simmer until the beef is tender, at least 45 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, sautee the carrots with the remainder of the olive oil, adding water as needed if the carrots began to stick to the pan. Sautee for about 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add turmeric powder.
  3. Combine the carrots with the beef that is fully cooked and tender. Add tomato paste and sour plums. Continue to let simmer for 1 hour or until stew is nice and thick.
  4. Add lemon juice towards the end. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, or enjoy on its own! Can also be prepared without beef for a vegetarian version.
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