Mama & Mini – Caramelised onion & aubergine curry

Here we go, the Mama & Mini series is back.  Recipes you can cook for yourself, for your whole family and even for your tinies (with some small adjustments noted below).

I don’t know about you but food is the highlight of my weekly calendar these days.  In fact, my diary commitments are so sparse right now the only things I have to plan for are ‘Bin day’ and ‘Tesco delivery’.  I have been making a huge effort this year to create a meal planner for the week in order to shop smarter – eliminating food waste and being smarter with money.  Well, now my meal planner has quickly evolved from five or six dinners a week to seven dinners and seven lunches for the whole family.  On top of that Summer is now eating real food which is both a joy and a challenge.  I plan carefully, I note down ingredients meticulously and I am doing my very best to keep to majority of our meals healthy and affordable.  In short, I am ON IT.

This is one of our favourites and I love making a huge batch with portions for the freezer too.  It is fresh and healthy, melty sweet with those caramelised onions, comforting enough to feel like a hug in a bowl which we all need right about now, filling enough to keep the husband happy (a wee naan on the side gets you extra bonus points) and really pretty easy too.



Ingredients (Serves 4 + 2 mini portions*)

3 tbsp olive oil (or whatever oil you have to hand)
3 large aubergines, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 medium onions, halved and finely sliced
1 dessert spoon grated ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cayenne* (or a small pinch of chilli powder)
1/2 tsp salt*
2 tins chopped tomatoes
Small handful fresh coriander (if you can get hold of it, I couldn’t)

Heat the oil in a large pan over low heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes until a deep golden brown colour.  Don’t be tempted to rush this stage – the caramelised onion flavour is sooo worth the wait.

Add the grated ginger and cumin seeds and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant.  Next add the ground spices and salt and cook for 30 seconds before tossing in the aubergine and stirring well to coat evenly.  Pour in the tomatoes and give it a good mix before placing the lid on.  Cook over low heat for about an hour (but, you know, don’t just ignore it for an hour – give it a few loving stirs along the way).

Towards the end I remove the lid and crank the heat to thicken the sauce – the aubergine should be in tact but melty soft. Serve sprinkled with coriander/cilantro leaves, basmati rice and mango chutney.

Side note: I now make this dish in the slow cooker for ease (I bought this one because it’s giant enough to cook double portions and freeze half plus the internal pot can be used on the hob for the onion browning).  Follow the same basic steps up to the tomatoes – as soon as they have been added move the pot into the slow cooker on low for 3 hours or medium for 2 hours and, when it’s in there, you can absolutely ignore it.


This curry is a favourite in our house and I can’t wait to see what Summer thinks of it soon.  By now, Hunter at two and a half, is well used to spices and flavours but for under 12 months I would definitely omit the salt and cayenne/chilli and roughly blend the curry.

Do let me know if you try it and if you share on instagram please tag #ThankfifiFood so I can have a drool.x

This post may contain affiliate links and gifts.



andalucia bowl – Habitat
roman bowl – Habitat
tea towel – Anthropologies
serving spoon – H&M
wooden bath tray – Etsy




1 Comment

  1. Gaylesbury
    31 Mar / 12:04 pm

    Nom nom NOM! Adds aubergines to shopping list….

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