This vegetarian slow cooker recipe is perfect for cold nights: easy aubergine Thai red curry. Mmmm...

This vegetarian slow cooker recipe requires a minimum of effort and packs a real flavour punch

Vegetarian slow cooker recipe for cold nights: aubergine Thai red curry
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Looking for a vegetarian slow cooker recipe that isn't shy on flavour? Bland slow cooker meals are a thing of the past, thanks to the increasing popularity of diverse world cuisines. Thai food in particular is very easy to make in a slow cooker (preferably one of our best slow cookers, of course), is delicious and healthy, and the ingredients are not difficult to find. Thai cuisine is also very vegetarian-friendly, with a great range of dishes that don't require any meat at all. 

Here, we look at making an aubergine Thai red curry. Aubergine is one of the only vegetables that benefit from being cooked for a long time; its sponge-like texture absorbs all the moisture you can give it, so you don't have to worry about the vegetable losing its flavour. 

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Cookworks 3.5L Slow Cooker at Argos| Was £20, now £15

For £15, you can't go wrong with this simple slow cooker. It has three heat settings, including a keep warm setting, and a ceramic inner bowl. The glass lid lets you see through to watch how your cooking is going. Note that the ceramic bowl is handwash only. View Deal

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Take your winter cooking to the next level with this sleek offering from Morphy Richards that is safe to go on a hob. The aluminium inner bowl is dishwasher safe; but what makes this slow cooker really special is the sear mode, which means you can crisp up your meat before slow cooking it. Yum.

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This is another nice on-the-hob slow cooker, but this one has the ability to not only sear the food, but also to stir it to ensure perfectly even cooking. The handles of this slow cooker always stay cool, making serving easy.View Deal

Thai red curry with aubergine

For this easy slow cooker recipe for two, you'll need: 

  • Aubergine, 300 grams. We prefer using mini aubergines, but can also chop up one large aubergine
  • Thai red curry paste, preferable Barts, two to four teaspoons, to taste
  • White cup mushrooms, 250 grams
  • Lemongrass, one stalk
  • Ginger, 20 grams or a thumb-sized piece, sliced
  • Tinned tomato, one tin
  • Coconut milk, 500ml
  • Juice of one lime

1. For best results, it's best to start on the sear function on your slow cooker (if you have it; don't worry it not, you can do this in a frying pan). Stir fry the aubergines and the cleaned and chopped mushrooms in the red curry paste; if you wish, you can add a little bit or rapeseed oil. 

2. When the vegetables have softened, add all the other ingredients and slow cook for about 1.5 hours, or until the sauce is not too runny. 

3. For an even fresher taste, you can add fine green beans or sugarsnap peas towards the end. 

4. Serve with jasmine rice. 

Some recipes advise mixing your own Thai paste, but we've found it almost impossible to achieve an authentic flavour. Some people also like adding a bit of fish sauce to the mix, but we find the flavour (and smell) to be quite strong, so go easy if you do decide to add it. Obviously, the fish sauce will also make the dish non-veggie.

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