Air Fryer Pakoras and Onion Bhaji are our favourite spicy Indian snack and appetizer to cook at home.
Our quick & easy Air Fryer Onion Bhaji recipe can be cooked in an air fryer in under 20 minutes. It’s the perfect last minute party snack.
This simple air fryer recipe features frozen store bought onion bhaji pakoras and sweet or spicy Indian chutney for dipping.
We love serving this crispy Air Fryer Pakoras recipe as a finger food snack at parties or as an appetizer at an Indian-themed lunch or dinner.
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What Are Pakoras?
Pakoras are a spiced deep fried fritter originating from the Indian subcontinent, sold by street vendors and served in restaurants.
They are often sold as a snack or as an appetizer with sweet or spicy Indian chutney. You’ll find them on restaurant menus beside samosas.
Traditional recipes are typically vegetarian and vegan, featuring chopped vegetables like potatoes, carrots, peas and onions, coated in seasoned gram (chickpea) flour batter and deep fried until browned and crispy.
The world’s most famous pakora is onion bhaji. These crispy fritters are similarly prepared with a spiced chickpea flour but predominantly taste of fried onions. They’re the perfect treat for those who love the irresistible smell of fried onions.
You can make homemade Air Fryer Onion Bhaji but if looking for a quick & easy snack purchase your favourite store bought frozen brand and cook crispy air fryer pakoras at home in just minutes!
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Best Frozen Pakora & Onion Bhaji Brands
Take a stroll down your grocery store freezer aisle and you’ll find many brands selling frozen pakoras or onion bhaji, which you can cook at home in your air fryer.
In the US and Canada popular frozen pakora brands include Chef Bombay, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Whole Foods, Spice Up Foods, Our Compliments and President’s Choice.
Frozen Onion Bhaji and Pakoras can also be purchased in the freezer section of Indian or South Asian grocery stores.
If you’re looking for specialty frozen pakoras be sure to visit the health food aisle in your grocery store where you’ll likely find gluten free, organic, keto friendly, vegan and vegetarian options.
Best Air Fryers
An air fryer is a small countertop convection oven designed to simulate deep frying without submerging the food in oil. A fan circulates hot air at high speed, producing a crisp layer via browning reactions.
In 2010, Philips introduced the Airfryer brand of convection oven at a consumer electronics fair in Berlin. It used the patented Rapid Air technology, though the term air fryer is now used generically.
Early air fryers were barrel-shaped, though more recently, many have come to resemble toaster ovens and pressure cookers, offering additional functions like toasting, baking, dehydrating and rotisserie.
A decade after their launch, Air Fryers are now one of the trendiest kitchen appliance. They are particularly popular with gourmands living in condos or apartments in big cities like Toronto as they reduce the number of appliances taking up space in your kitchen.
- Hamilton Beach: I tested this recipe with a Hamilton Beach toaster oven-style air fryer. They are an excellent option for those looking for an affordable air fryer and I particularly like mine as it allowed me to replace my toaster, dehydrator and rotisserie. It’s also easier to spread food out and make it crispy by using a baking tray rather than a basket.
- Instant Vortex: This popular air fryer is brought to you by the inventors of the popular Instant Pot. It’s 6 quart capacity features an easy to clean tray that air frys, roasts and bakes.
- COSORI: This 5.8 quart air fryer is an 11-in-1 cooker featuring a nonstick basket and helpful shake reminder setting.
- Ninja: This premium brand is the perfect option for those looking to invest in a heavy duty stainless steel air fryer. The product has been designed to look similar to an Instant Pot, with the top of the air fryer flipping backwards so you can easily lower a basket filled with food.
- NuWave: This sleek digital air fryer features a traditional removable basket and reaches temperatures up to 390 F.
Travel to India by Cooking Air Fryer Pakoras at Home
I love traveling through Asia.
My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.
After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout Asia for 6 months, visiting the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, The Maldives and India.
I spent over a month traveling through India. I started in the capital, eating my way through the bustling markets and fine dining restaurants in Delhi. I then embarked on a magical weekend getaway to awe-inspiring Taj Mahal in Agra. In India’s north you’ll find plenty of barbecue and wheat based side dishes like scorched naan bread.
For the second half of my Indian adventure I explored the southern state of Kerala. The south is famous for its seafood, coconut, tropical fruits, and rice based side dishes like crispy dosa and Thakkali Biryani. The colonial capital of Cochin was formerly run by the Portuguese. It’s also one of the only places in India you can find beef on a menu.
After enjoying a jaunt to the Maldives my India trip came to a close in the Bollywood capital, bustling and cosmopolitan Mumbai. The city is famous for its specialty street foods and fine dining restaurants at opulent luxury hotels. The Taj Mahal Palace in particular serves one of the world’s most famous Afternoon Teas.
What I found most fascinating is India’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, each city in India had its own local speciality.
If India has one culinary consistency it is the nation’s love for crispy pakoras. You can order them at local restaurants from the tropical beaches of Goa to the mountainous peaks of the himalayas.
After you’ve traveled to India, return home to prepare a fragrant feast for friends and family featuring this quick and easy Air Fryer Pakoras recipe!
My Family Loves Making Onion Bhaji Pakoras in Air Fryer
My family loves Indian food! We crave the fragrant spices and fresh flavours of unique regional South Asian cuisines.
In Toronto we’ve visited some of the city’s best Indian and Pakistani restaurants including Udupi Palace, Lahore Tikka House and Kothur Indian Cuisine.
At home we like to recreate our favourite restaurant-style Indian dishes such as curries, salads and soups.
Whenever we dine out at an Indian restaurant we always start the meal with a selection of crispy pakoras and onion bhaji. They’re the perfect snack to share at the table. The addictive crunch and zippy chutney means we’re always fighting over who gets to eat the last one.
Now that we’ve upgraded our kitchen with the trendiest new gadget we love making Air Fryer Pakoras at home.
Air Fryers cook food much quicker than a traditional oven and help ensure onion bhaji have a crispy exterior and moist and tender interior.
Pakoras cooked at a restaurant are typically deep fried, so this Air Fryer Pakoras recipe has the same great taste and texture with significantly less fat and calories.
How To Make Air Fryer Pakoras
Our air fryer recipe is so easy to make you’ll have it ready to serve in under 20 minutes!
There are two methods to making frozen pakoras in an air fryer, which depend on the style of device you are using.
- Traditional Basket: air fryers with a removable basket are still the most common. In order to make Air Fryer Pakoras in these machines, simply lower the frozen fritters into the basket. They shouldn’t be crowded or touching. This will ensure they are crispy and not soggy.
- Toaster Oven Tray: modern air fryers featuring a glass door and tray configuration make it easy to prepare frozen onion bhaji in an air fryer at home. Simply place the frozen pakoras on the tray and watch them brown and get crispy through the glass door.
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Onion Bhaji Air Fryer Recipe Cooking Tips
If it’s your first time making an Air Fryer Pakoras recipe review our cooking tips to ensure a mouth-watering snack.
- Place the frozen pakoras in one flat layer without any overlap or touching, otherwise you’ll end up with an unevenly cooked and potentially soggy fritters.
- Lightly mist the onion bhaji with cooking spray to ensure they get extra crispy when cooking.
- You can cook frozen or fresh pakoras in an air fryer. If the fritters are at room temperature reduce the total cooking time by a few minutes and be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
- Be sure to flip the pakoras during the cooking process to ensure both sides cook evenly.
- The Air Fryer cooking time can vary by appliance as well as the size of the pakoras you are cooking. Smaller onion bhaji require less time so be sure to keep an eye on them when cooking to avoid burning.
- Serve pakoras with fresh cilantro and your favourite sweet or spicy Indian chutney. Our families favourites are cilantro chutney and mango chutney.
- If you have leftover cooked pakoras store them in the fridge and reheat them in the air fryer for 3-4 minutes until crispy.
What To Serve With Air Fryer Pakoras
Air Fryer Pakoras are a quick & easy snack or appetizer traditionally served with a dipping sauce like cilantro or mango chutney.
We love making Onion Bhaji in an Air Fryer at Indian-themed dinner parties. Serve them as a pre-dinner snack or as an appetizer at a potluck or buffet.
You may also enjoy these Indian recipes…
- Chilli Paneer Gravy Restaurant Style Masala
- Tofu Meatballs in Creamy Vegan Korma Curry Sauce
- Indian Vegetarian Paneer Frankie Kathi Roll
- Vegetarian Oven Baked Tandoori Gobi Cauliflower
- Healthy Vegetarian Indian Paneer Tikka Salad
- Aloo Fry Vegetarian Indian Turmeric Potatoes
- Warm Indian Vegan Sprouted Mung Bean Salad
- Curry Leaf Rice with Cashews
- Vegan Thakkali Tomato Biryani
- Chanachur Chivda Bombay Mixture Namkeen
- Parippu Vada Recipe With Coconut Chutney
- Tomato Chutney For Dosa Recipe
- Pitod Ki Sabji Vegetarian Indian Chickpea Dumplings
- Vegetarian Malai Kofta
- Chingri Malai Curry Bengali Coconut Prawns
- Pepper Milagu Rasam Vegan South Indian Soup
- Creamy Vegetarian Indian Paneer Soup
- Chicken Manchow Soup Recipe
- Turmeric Pumpkin Spice Indian Cake
- Indian Onion Salad
- Chicken Shahi Korma
- Vegetarian Shahi Paneer
- Indian Crepes Pudla Recipe
How To Make Crispy Air Fryer Onion Bhaji Pakoras
Air Fryer Pakoras Onion Bhaji
- Air Fryer
- Spatula Flipper
- 250 g Frozen Pakoras
- 1/2 tsp Cooking Spray
- 1/4 cup Mango Chutney
- Preheat Air Fryer to 400 F.
- Place the frozen pakoras into the air fryer basket, spray with cooking spray on all sides.
- Place basket in the air fryer and cook for 12 minutes.
- Flip the pakoras and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. They are finished cooking once the pakoras are golden brown and crispy.
- Serve Air Fryer Pakoras with your favourite Indian chutney.
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