Philips Air Fryer: The Onion Bhaji Experiment

I love onion bhaji and veg pakora.  I’ll usually always order those at Indian restaurants.  The upside is they’re all kinds of fantastic.  The downside: they’re deep fried.  Now sure, I’m not eating out all the time for this to be a problem, but these are dishes I really want to make at home and at home, I won’t be a-deep fryin’.  What to do?

Well, since my Philips Air Fryer arrived I’ve been thinking of trying bjahi and pakora recipes.  Except I’ve been slack and mostly been using the air fryer for potato and sweet potato chips (fries).  So a coupla days ago I gave myself a stern talking to and turned to YouTube for an onion bhaji video that looked good.

My friends.  May I present you with what is probably the best cooking instructional video I’ve seen in a very long time:

You just gotta watch it.  DO IT DO IT.

So I followed the batter recipe to the letter but I used one large red onion and a big chunk of finely sliced cauliflower florets as I didn’t want to use up all my onions.  I even left out salt as no salt is mentioned in the the recipe but my first batch was in desperate need of salt so I added some to the remaining batter.

The batter was so thick that I was able to put the bhaji balls straight in to the air fryer basket, with nothing lining it.  After ten minutes at 180C I turned the bhaji over:


I really had no idea how long to put them in for so I made it twenty minutes.  They were cooked through but the cooked batter was still kinda thick, however this is how some deep fried bhaji I’ve eaten have turned out.  Next time I’ll throw in a little baking powder or something.  My bhaji at Magic Mint in Moonee Ponds was, I believe, quite lighter and fluffier and not as dense.  I’d like to be able to make lighter, fluffier bhaji.  Bad photo:


Not containing any oil, my bhaji were quite dry but the flavours were nice.  My second batch stuck to the fryer basket a bit, but I’ll take that any day over deep frying and having to stand and watch the stuff cooking.

This is a recipe that I want to change up a bit so the kids will eat it.  Which means no obvious bits of veg whatsoever so perhaps some finely diced veggies will do the trick.

If I’d been more organised I would have made a tamarind dipping sauce as these definitely need something like that.  I’ll also take more care making them look a little nicer but this was just an experiment.

I recommend trying the recipe in the video  🙂

23 thoughts on “Philips Air Fryer: The Onion Bhaji Experiment

  1. I LOVE bhaji and pakora too, and I make them occasionally, but I find deep frying scary and guilt inducing, so I’m following your air fryer adventures very closely. It’s looking pretty good so far!

  2. I own a Philips AirFryer and use it often to enjoy French Fries, Fried Plantains, Chicken Wings, Chicken Fried Steak, Homemade Sweet Potato Tater Tots, you name it! IT’S AMAZING! Everybody should have one! Just saying…

  3. I love your Humor! and GNR just amazing!! I tried your recipe just turned out to be the yummiest food ever… Curious to know did you try any bhajji recipes on an air fryer and how did it turn out?!

    • Hi, no no I’m not the marvellous woman in the video 🙂 As for my own bhaji in the air fryer, wellll I’m so in love with my favourite Indian restaurant here in Melbourne (Krishna On Barkly, Footscray) that I get theirs instead 😀

  4. I always love the way air fryer can help me in my cooking, especially for any kinds of fried food. My french fries is one of the best dish which I can make. I often use 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil for chips but for others such as vegatables or chicken wings I will not add any extra oil.

    • I did try a few experiments when I bought it but I wasn’t thrilled with the results but I really need to try again. I made some baked bananas that turned out okay 🙂

  5. Hello. I am thinking to buy Phillips air fryer just because of french fries! That is about the only dish I would be making. Reasons – to ‘bake’ them fast and to reduce the amount of cleaning. Please tell me what you think – is it worth getting air fryer just because of potato chips? I am imagining that I could take a potato, pass it throgh the chips potato cutter and throw it into the air fryer. 20 mins later – food. 🙂 Is this possible? Thanks so much in advance!

    • hi yes it’s possible as that’s what I do 🙂 But then you have an expensive appliance just for chips! I keep meaning to do other things in but because I store my air fryer away in a cupboard, I never see it to remember!

  6. Hi I tried the palak pakora using the air frier. Made 2 small changes to your recipe – I made the pakora balls and cooked them in a covered plate for 3 minutes before transferring to the air frier. This allowed the besan to be cooked and removed the dense texture. Also added a few drops of olive oil which made the end result near to perfect! Thanks for the inspiration, hope you enjoy your yummy pakora!