It must have been the unexpected early spring weather, the sun shining so brightly through the unshammed windows. Suddenly last week, after a long hibernation, the Marie Kondo in me woke up. What a mess here, go, clean up. Out with the male, in with the happiness . At least that was the plan.

The whole kitchen would believe it. The extended kitchen I actually have to write, because due to a lack of storage space I keep kitchen utensils everywhere in the house. My baking tins live in the meter cupboard, the separate parts of my food processor in the bathroom cupboard and my freezer boxes in a bedroom cupboard. In the latter category in particular, there was objectively a lot to undo. But unfortunately, with every plastic container and empty yogurt bucket I felt a spark joy – Kondo’s damned spark of joy – and ended up throwing nothing away.

Then take care of the freezers themselves. Plural, because I have two: one in the kitchen and a small one hidden in a cupboard in the hall. In one of the drawers I found a kilo of vacuum-drawn mutton stew. That’s true, I had it delivered just before the winter by internet butcher De Woeste Grond. It had been an impulse purchase, made when ordering a package of beef. The cow was long gone, I had completely forgotten about the sheep.

I announced the sheep to my housemates, who just didn’t react with meèh. What a pity that mutton has such a bad reputation. Unjustly, too, because that night in my barely tidy kitchen they were fighting over the last remnant of a delicious spring-like green Indian mutton curry. And I? I felt a spark of joy.

Palak gosht

(6 persons)

3 large cloves of garlic, peeled; 5 cm ginger root, peeled; 2 green chiles, with or without seeds; 1½ tsp ground cumin; 150 g full-fat Turkish or Greek yogurt; 1 kilo mutton stew (or lamb stew) in large chunks; 50 g ghee (or oil); 3 cloves; 3 cardamom pods; 1 bay leaf; 3 medium onions, chopped; 1.5 tsp ground coriander; 3 medium tomatoes, diced; 1 tbsp tomato paste; 250 g spinach.

puree garlic, ginger, chili pepper, half a teaspoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of salt and the yogurt in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender to a marinade. Turn the meat over and let it marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

heat the ghee in a heavy stewpan and fry the cloves, cardamom and bay leaf very briefly. Add the onion and let it slowly soften and caramelize over low heat. Give him at least 20 minutes. Turn the heat to high, add the ground coriander and the remaining cumin and sauté briefly.

Doe then put the meat, including the yogurt marinade, in the pan and fry it for about 5 minutes while you keep stirring constantly – otherwise the yogurt will stick. Add the tomato paste and tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes. Then pour 250 ml of boiling water into the pan. Add another half teaspoon of salt, toss everything around, turn the heat to low, put a lid on the pan and let it simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours.

spade Turn it over a few times during that time, check if you might need a little more water, or leave the lid on the pan for the last half hour so that the moisture evaporates a little more.

Leave the spinach to shrink briefly by blanching it, or by stir-frying it briefly. Puree the spinach and stir it into the curry just before serving.