Do you get a weekly craving for butter chicken with a side of fluffy naan? If so, you’ll go nuts for these amazing Indian air fryer recipes!
Air fryers work like a convection oven: circulating hot air around your food to make it juicy and crisp.
This style of cooking is perfect for the best spicy Bombay potatoes, onion bhajis, and pakoras.
But that’s not all!
Did you know you can make the juiciest Tandoori chicken drumsticks skewers in an air fryer?
You can even make flatbread in one of these countertop ovens.
So, put away the chicken fingers and leave the tater tots for another day because I know you’ll want to try every single one of these 20 incredible Indian air fryer recipes!
The key to the best Bombay potatoes is the spice blend.
They need to be par-boiled and coated in a mix of cumin, coriander, Kashmiri chili powder, amchur (dry mango powder), turmeric, and chaat masala.
In the air fryer, they will crisp up on the outside while staying perfectly fluffy on the inside.
Onion bhajis are a simple but super flavorful starter made with thinly sliced onions and a spiced batter.
The batter is made with a selection of spices and sifted gram flour.
Gram flour is essentially chickpea flour, and it gives these tasty bites a ton of extra flavor.
Of course, you can use all-purpose flour, but it won’t give you the same flavor.
Chickpea flour is available in almost all grocery stores these days, or you can find it easily enough online.
This is such a fantastic little side dish, and it will liven up so many dinners, even just a regular roast chicken.
I love that it has potatoes and cauliflower for some variety of both flavor and texture.
Since the cauliflower will cook faster, be sure to cut the potato into smaller cubes or par-boil it until it’s fork-tender.
Pakoras are almost like the carby cousin of the onion bhaji!
They’re made with a similar spiced gram flour batter; only they’re loaded with cauliflower and potatoes instead of onions.
Again, to ensure the potatoes cook properly, it might be a good idea to par-boil them a little, otherwise, you’ll need to cut them pretty small.
I’ve actually made a bhaji-pakora hybrid before, adding thinly sliced onions into the mix. It was to die for!
This dish makes a terrific meatless Monday meal, swapping out the chicken for Indian cheese.
Paneer is an Indian cottage cheese that looks a little like tofu.
It’s usually unsalted and won’t melt like regular cheese, meaning it can be grilled in the same way you would halloumi.
The marinade is a blend of yogurt and spices, making it creamy, tangy, and warm, all at the same time.
Samosas are little pastry pockets loaded with spiced potatoes and veggies.
They’re typically deep-fried to give them their crispy texture, but in this case, the air fryer will do all the work without the fat.
To get the best crispy texture on the pastry, it’s a good idea to spray them with a little cooking spray. This will help the heat create lovely flakes.
If you don’t have the time to make the special pastry, try using phyllo instead for an extra crispy layer on the outside.
These crispy potatoes are similar to the aloo gobi from above, except they’re marinated in a yogurt and spice blend, making them tangy and delicious.
One thing to note is that your marinade shouldn’t include any salt.
Salt draws out moisture, which will keep the potatoes from turning golden and crunchy.
Also, try not to overcrowd the basket. I know they’re delicious, and you’ll want plenty, but they need space to get an even cook.
Samosa chaat is a traditional street food that combines samosas and spicy chickpea curry.
This shortcut version is a fantastic appetizer that combines all the same great flavors in one convenient little bite.
Phyllo will give you an amazing crunch, and you can buy the little cups in the freezer section to speed things up.
Like any other samosa recipe, the filling is a mix of ginger, salt, coriander, garam masala, red chili powder, amchur, mashed potatoes, and peas.
Here’s another popular street food that’s sure to make your family lick their lips.
These crispy potato cakes work for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and they are an excellent way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.
For breakfast, I would serve them with a simply runny egg on top.
For lunch or dinner, they would be great alongside the paneer tikka or chickpea curry.
Even if you’re not looking for a carb/gluten-free side dish, you’ll still need to try these crazy-good cauliflower bites.
A lot of these recipes require some of the same spices, so if you buy a small bag of garam marsala, you will make use of it.
Or, you could find an Indian spice mix that takes the guesswork out of it.
This insanely good cauliflower recipe is a cross between the tandoori gobi above and something sticky, sweet, and sour you would find on a Chinese menu.
First, you’ll pre-cook the cauliflower for a few minutes to ensure it’s nice and tender. Then, it gets covered in a typical gram flour batter.
You’ll use the air fryer to make this nice and crispy before tossing them in a frying pan full of sticky-sweet Machurian sauce.
I’m a big lover of naan bread for its fluffy but firm texture, buttery finish, and ability to make an afternoon pizza in a matter of minutes!
But when I run out of the store-bought kind, this recipe is a lifesaver!
If you’ve ever tried 2-ingredient bagels (please do right now if you haven’t!), you’ll know that all you’ll need is Greek yogurt and self-raising flour.
They come out unbelievably tender, and you won’t need to proof or boil them in water before baking!
This recipe uses the same method; only the dough gets flattened into naan bread instead.
It has to be self-raising flour because that already contains a rising agent.
Otherwise, you’ll need to work out how much baking powder to add to the mix.
If you ask me, garlic naan is the perfect pizza base. It’s already flavored and just the right thickness to hold a bunch of tasty toppings.
This vegetarian version uses marinated paneer, but you could use chicken if you prefer.
I like the texture and flavor of the cheese, but I know it’s not something we all keep in the fridge all the time. Haloumi would make a nice substitute.
Okra isn’t the tastiest vegetable (in my opinion), and I think a lot of people are turned off by the slimy consistency.
Normally, I would recommend this fantastic Cracker Barrel fried okra, but the air fryer will work just as well.
If you can’t find tender long okra, be sure to slice the thicker kind nice and thin so it will crisp up.
Amchoor (aamchur or amchur) is a dried mango powder made from unripe green mangoes. It’s slightly fruity and a little sour, making it a fantastic spice for Indian meals.
You can find Amchoor online or in Indian grocery stores.
I think this spice is nice enough that you don’t need anything else, but the blend of dried mango with cayenne and cumin adds a lovely warmth that can’t be beat!
Pani puri is a super famous Indian street food made with a simple little pastry disc that cooks and puffs up until it’s hollow.
Once it’s pillowy, the vendor will poke a hole in the top and fill it with everything from potatoes to onions to peas.
Once you get the hang of these little puffy discs, why not try this recipe for pani puri stuffing.
Tandoori refers to the style of cooking rather than the flavors used.
A Tandoor is a large clay oven that is used for cooking everything from chicken to flatbreads, and it imparts a lovely smokey flavor, much like a BBQ.
That said, Tandoori chicken is almost always chicken marinated in yogurt and spices.
We might not all have clay ovens on hand, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make this delicious dish at home.
For the marinade, you’ll mix yogurt, garlic, ginger, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt.
For the best results, smother the chicken and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
I love using my air fryer for chicken wings and drumsticks because it keeps the meat perfectly juicy and tender but crisps up the skin just right.
Ivy gourds are in the pumpkin family and are the fruit of a tropical plant.
They look like little zucchinis, but they have an almost bitter melon flavor to them.
Full disclosure: I’ve never seen these in the supermarket, and believe me, I looked! I used zucchini instead, and they came out so tasty.
Idli are savory rice cakes typically eaten for breakfast. They’re usually steamed and contain rice and lentils.
Once you’ve enjoyed them for a couple of days, you’ll want to use up the leftovers before they go bad. That’s where your air fryer comes in.
Cut the little cakes into bite-sized chunks (being careful not to go too small) and add them to the basket.
Once cooked, they will be crazy-crunchy on the outside and perfectly fluffy still on the inside.
These make a great, lower-carb alternative to French fries or wedges.
Hara (green) bhara (filled) kebabs (charred meat or vegetable) are colorful and tasty potato patties made with spinach and peas.
They are great with a fresh yogurt dip or used to mop up the last of your dhal makhani.
Since you’ll cook them in an Air Fryer, I recommend coating the patties in breadcrumbs to maximize the crunchy texture.
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