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Air Fryer Onion Bhajis

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I tried the Instant Pot Dual Crisp and Air Fryer and couldn’t believe how good my air fryer onion bhajis were!

Many people have told me over the years that I should try air frying my recipes that are normally deep fried. 

I even tried some air fried chicken and chips at exhibition a year or so back and wasn’t impressed. After trying the Instant Pot to test a few of my recipes, however I have changed my mind. In fact, you might also like to try my air fryer chicken tikka too. If you don’t have an air fryer, why not try these restaurant style onion bhajis or baked onion bhajis?

Air Fried Onion bhajis

Delicious and crispy. This air fried method of cooking onion bhajis gets excellent results.

I have spent the last two weeks testing the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and Air Fryer. I didn’t just use the air fryer! I used it for almost everything, from perfectly cooked Basmati rice to tandoori chicken and lamb.

It cooked everything to perfection and also saved me a lot of time. No more mess when frying!

I think most people purchase air fryers for health reasons but another huge bonus is that you don’t have all that oil to clean up. Same for the tandoori chicken and lamb.

Using the grilling feature made making tandoori meat and vegetables half the job it usually is. 

So what’s the recipe?

The recipe I used was simple. It was the recipe from my book ‘The Curry Guy Bible’ but with a few other ingredients thrown in just to make it a little different.

I also added Kashmiri chilli powder but that is optional. If you like your food spicy though, it is a nice touch.

You’ll find the complete written recipe at the bottom of this page.

Is there a trick to making the perfect air fryer onion bhajis?

I have tried so many onion bhaji recipes over the year but always return to the recipes from my books. 

It is important to finely slice the onions and then sprinkle a bit of salt over them. Not everyone does this.

By sprinkling salt over your sliced onions, in helps release the water from them. This becomes the water you need to make the batter.

No additional water is used. Add water and your air fryer onion bhajis will be a bit stodgy. 

How did you come up with this recipe for air fried onion bhajis?

Trial and error. 

I found that air frying them for 15 minutes at 380f/176c was perfect.

I love my Instant pot so much, you will soon find many other ways to use it on my blog.

Are air fried onion bhajis as good as deep fried onion bhajis?

I wasn’t expecting to say yes when I started but yes!

In fact my family prefer them.

Air fried onion bhajis are deliciously crispy and cooked through to perfection.

I know I already mentioned that it is a lot less messy to air fry than deep fry but I’ll say it again now.

It’s so much nicer to take the onion bhajis out to serve and not have that deep frying mess to clean up. 

Just in case you like to cook from photographs, I included a few photos below. 

All the ingredients for air fried bhajis

Get your prepared ingredients together and add flour until you can easily form the bhajis.

Forming the onion bhajis

Form the bhajis into loose balls.

Place the onion bhajis in the air fryer

Place the onion bhajis in the Instant pot air fryer.

cooked bhajis

Air fry for 15 minutes at 176c/380f.

air fryer onion bhajis

Dig in to your super crispy air fryer onion bhajis. These are so good.

Looking for a good curry house style curry to go with your air fryer onion bhajis? Try a few of these!

Tikka masala sauce
Korma sauce
Pasanda sauce
Chasni sauce
Chilli garlic sauce
Pathia sauce
Jalfrezi sauce
Keema sauce
Bhuna sauce
Methi sauce
Madras sauce
Vindaloo sauce
Phaal sauce


Yield: 12

Air Fryer Onion Bhajis

air fryer onion bhajis
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours 1 second
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes 1 second


  • 2 white onions slightly larger than tennis balls
  • 1 red onion slightly larger than a tennis ball
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger - julienned
  • 3 green chillies - pounded to a paste
  • 1 tablespoon panch poran*
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tbsp rice flour
  • 140g (approx) sifted gram flour
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves


  1. Cut the onions in half and then finely slice them. Mix the salt into them and set aside for an hour or up to four hours.
  2. After an hour the onions will be limp and moist. Squeeze the onions to release the water into the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the onions, being careful not to add to much gram flour. You should easily be able to pick up a ball of the onion mixture.
  3. Divide the mixture in to small bhajis.
  4. Heat your air fryer to 176c/380f. Spray the basket with oil spray generously.
  5. Place the bhajis in the basket. You will need to cook these in batches.
  6. After 15 minutes, your first batch will be cooked to perfection.
  7. Serve hot or at room temperature.

* equal measures of cumin seeds, onion seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and black mustard seeds or use shop bought

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Instant Pot Air Fryer

Kate Armstrong

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

I normally deep fry mine.Just made these onion bhajis in my air fryer. Absolutely delicious and so much better for you. Thank you

Dan Toombs

Thursday 28th of September 2023

That’s really good to hear, thanks very much. Dan

Johnno Johnson

Wednesday 9th of August 2023

I have been meaning to make these for ages, but had a minor issue in that we didn’t have an air fryer! That has now been resolved and we have caught up with the rest of the world! Substituted the rice flour with corn flour as suggested by Dan, and they were gorgeous! Absolutely brilliant recipe (obviously) and so much helpful advice along the way. As there are only 2 of us we had enough for the meal that night and plenty to freeze. Thank you for this recipe and all the other fantastic ones we have tried and loved.

Dan Toombs

Friday 11th of August 2023

it’s certainly been a popular recipe and I’m really glad you enjoyed it too. Thanks very much. Dan

Michelle conaghan

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

Just made me onion bahjis … DELICIOUS !!! AND so easy to make !!! Thanks Dan .. again … I regularly make your curries !!! 👏👏👏👏

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

Thank you so much for letting me know. Really glad you are enjoying my recipes. Dan

Mark Smith

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

Hi mate , slightly confused about the specified 140gm of gram flour, then you say not to use too much?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

Hi Mark That is correct - just don’t add any more than that. The recipe should work really well as I have always had fantastic feedback from it. Thanks very much. Dan


Thursday 19th of January 2023

Hi Dan, going to give this recipe a go at the weekend. I have lots going on so was wondering if I could make the bhajis then keep in the fridge for a day? Or are they likely to dry out? Many thanks, love all your recipes

Dan Toombs

Monday 23rd of January 2023

Yes I see no reason why you couldn’t keep the bhajis in the fridge for a day or two. Thanks Dan

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