Air Fryer Onion Bhaji

An onion bhaji is a thing of great beauty, it is simply an onion fritter made from a spiced batter and is typically fried. This recipe contains both instructions for frying and cooking air fryer which means my pakora consumption will increase! Yay…

Portrait close up image of onion bhaji pakora served on a slate with a tomato salad and a curry in the background

Lighter Air Fryer Onion Bhajis.

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.

As a result, I was always going to follow up my air fryer chicken wings with an air fryer onion bhaji recipe. I was already making plans before I hit the order button.

Portrait image of onion bhaji pakora served on a slate with a curry in the background

Do They Work in The Air Fryer?

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 pakora 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. That is a huge tick in the box if you ask me.

The secret to cooking them is a good spray of cooking oil before cooking and again just before you crisp up them up.

Don’t worry, if you want to fry yours I have added instructions within my recipe!

Landscape image of onion bhaji pakora served with a tomato salad on a slate

Are They 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.

Whilst we are on the topic of the batter one of the keys to getting this recipe right is not having too much 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.

They would ordinarily be served 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 my pork vindaloo in the background of these pictures.

And yup, I use them in lieu of naan bread, because, well because I can!

Portrait close up image of onion bhaji pakora served on a slate with a tomato salad
Air Fryer Onion Bhaji

Air Fryer Onion Bhaji

Yield: 4 Bhajis
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes

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!


  • 75 g Onion
  • 30 g Gram Flour
  • 15 g Rice Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Seeds
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 15 g Ginger
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ghee
  • 5 g Chives
  • 100 ml Water
  • Cooking Oil Spray


  1. Mix together the dry ingredients.
  2. Mash the garlic clove, grate the ginger and snip the chives.
  3. Add in the chives, garlic and ginger.
  4. Mix in the melted ghee and the water.
  5. Top and tail a small onion and remove the skin, then cut in half and finely slice from the top to bottom rather than into half moons.
  6. Wet your hands and form into 4 fairly loosely formed 'balls'.
  7. Place the balls in the air fryer, spray with oil spray and then cook for 12 minutes at 180°C or 350°F.
  8. 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.

  1. Drop into hot oil at 180°C or 350°F and cook for 4-6 minutes, flipping over half way through.
  2. Transfer to a piece of kitchen paper and allow to cool a little before serving.


Gram flour is chickpea flour and if you cannot get it this recipe works really well with wholewheat flour.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 143 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 8mg Sodium: 297mg Carbohydrates: 24g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Protein: 3g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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