My air fryer onion bhaji recipe is a thing of great beauty, it is simply an onion fritter made from a spiced batter and they taste fantastic.
I like to cook these in an air fryer as maintaining a clean deep fat fryer is a chore, but I have instructions for frying too.
The Great Onion Bhaji
My love of Indian food is scarcely hidden here on my site, there is however a lack of Indian starters, sides and snacks.
Now that is not because I do not like them, but it is because they are often fried.
It is not the frying that causes me concern, it is having oil in the fryer hanging around all of the time.
Also the spicing in Indian food means that the oil really is only of future use with similarly spiced food.
I was already making plans for this air fryer onion bhaji recipe before I hit the “add to cart” button.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Bhajia cooked in an Air Fryer worth it?
Yes… Well, of course, that was going to be the answer or they would not be here!
Are they as good as a fried pakora? Sadly not, however, that does not mean that they should be discounted.
I have not eaten any form of homemade bhaji for far too long, and the reason is that whole oil hanging around ‘thing’.
Cooking them in this way means that I am more likely to cook them which is a good thing!
Are these onion bhaji spicy?
My version is heavily spiced, however, they are not spicy hot.
I have no idea why, but I have never put chilli in any form into mine. I guess it is a habit, if you wanted you could shred fresh chilli and add them to the mix.
Alternatively, you could add chilli powder to the batter mix.
Can I use plain flour?
You could but in my testing, I found that plain flour led to bhaji that were quite “stodgy”.
The combination of rice flour and gram flour gave crispy bhaji with just the right amount of batter. If you have too much the centre of your bhaji will be stodgy and gloopy.
That is not good, you need to have just enough batter to loosely hold together the onions.
I’ve always known onion bhaji as a starter with an Indian Chutney in a British Indian restaurant. Something like this green tomato chutney would be perfect.
However, I love dipping them in curry! In fact, you will see a take on my pork vindaloo in the background of these pictures.
And yup, I use them in lieu of naan bread, because, well because I can!
I always add a yoghurt and mint sauce too, essentially it is my mint raita recipe without the cucumber.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Air fryer, I have also given instructions for frying as a result you can use a wok or deep-fat fryer.
- Stovetop or microwave to melt the ghee.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Mixing bowl.
- Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
An onion bhaji or bhajiya as an Indian snack, starter or side that is in all but name a pakora. My version is generously spiced although not hot with chili and is cooked in an air fryer. Don't worry though I have frying instructions too!
- 100g (⅔ Cup) Onion
- 45g (½ Cup) Gram Flour
- 15g (1½ Tbsp) Rice Flour
- ½ Tsp Turmeric
- ½ Tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ Tsp Mustard Seeds
- ½ Tsp Onion Seeds
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- ¼ Tsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
- 1 Tbsp Ghee
- 10g (¼ Cup) Chives
- 100ml (⅓ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Water
- Oil Spray
- Melt the ghee over a low heat.
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- Mash the garlic clove, grate the ginger, snip the chives and add them to the dry ingredients.
- Pour in the melted ghee and the water.
- Top and tail a small-medium onion and remove the skin, cut it in half and finely slice from the top to bottom and add it to the bowl, then stir to combine.
- Spray the air fryer basket with oil.
- Wet your hands and form into 4 fairly loosely formed 'balls'.
- Place the balls in the air fryer, spray them with oil spray and then cook for 12 minutes at 180°C or 350°F.
- After 12 minutes increase the temperature to 200°C or 400°F respray with oil and cook for a further 4 minutes.
To Deep Fry
Follow my instructions to point 6.
- Drop into hot oil at 180°C or 350°F and cook for 4-6 minutes, flipping over halfway through.
- Transfer to a piece of kitchen paper and allow to cool a little before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.