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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

Did you like this recipe?

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By the way, I recently made this chicken coconut curry and it goes perfectly with these air-fryer onion bhajis! Give it a try.


Thursday 9th of May 2024

Love this recipe, Dan! Can you freeze them please?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 14th of May 2024

Yes, they freeze well. Fry them once then freeze. Once defrosted give them another quick fry to serve. Thank you Dan


Monday 29th of January 2024

Can I use regular flour instead of rice flour?

Dan Toombs

Thursday 1st of February 2024

You can’t use regular flour but maybe try cornflour. Rice flour and cornflour to an extent give them a nice crispness. Thanks Dan

andrew jones

Thursday 18th of January 2024

Banging fair play mr toombs

Dan Toombs

Friday 19th of January 2024

Thank you! Dan

Deb Pettit

Wednesday 20th of December 2023

Hi Dan, just come back to this recipe again as I am making some to take to a drinks party later. They are one of those things that people don’t try, for whatever reason ….but then when they see others eating them can’t stop and they then tell all the others and whoosh they’re gone!😂😂 I’ve shared your recipe so many times. I now have a couple of your books and am really happy with them. Thank you

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 2nd of January 2024

Thanks so much and I’m really glad you’re inspiring people to try the onion Bhajis. Dan


Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

On these now as I type this! And I’ve added too much flour so they’re a bit ‘cakey’! Need to try again haha

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 4th of October 2023

Good luck next time then, You'll get there! Thanks Dan

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