10 Indian Recipes You Didn’t Know You Could Air-Fry
You can achieve deep-fried crispiness, minus the oil and calories, with help from an air fryer. From popular snacks like samosas to simple weeknight meals for two, here are the best air-fryer Indian recipes we could find!
Tandoori Paneer Tikka
Marinated cubes of paneer, a soft Indian cottage cheese, take center stage in this simple air-fryer Indian recipe by blogger Soniya Saluja, co-founder of The Belly Rules The Mind. Easily doubled, these veg-friendly skewers are a perfect addition to your roster as barbecue season approaches.
Can’t find paneer at your grocery store? Here’s how to make paneer at home.
Toss evenly cut pieces of potatoes (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi) with spices in this quick, under-30-minute air-fryer Indian recipe by Piping Pot Curry. Don’t forget a sprinkle (or two!) of lime before serving with a side of hot garlic naan or another type of Indian bread.
Commonly served in Indian households at tea time, onion pakodas are deep-fried fritters made of a thick batter of gram flour, sliced onions and spices. Vidya Narayan of Masala Chilli lightens things up with her air-fryer onion pakoda recipe, using only 2 tablespoons of oil for a three-person serving. Best eaten hot, these savory snacks go great with a side of mango or tamarind chutney.
Spicy Bombay Potatoes
The key to these crispy air-fried potatoes by Spice Cravings lies in its spice blend. Amchur, or dry mango powder, adds a mild, unique sourness, while chaat masala, a popular spice blend used in a variety of Indian street foods, lends both heat and saltiness, resulting in crisped-to-perfection spuds you just cannot stop eating!
This under-30-minute air-fryer Indian recipe for tandoori salmon comes from Easy Cooking With Molly and is also gluten-free. Blogger Molly Kumar recommends pairing this flavorful dish with a light salad or rice pilaf for a quick weeknight dinner.
Cornstarch-coated cauliflower florets are air-fried to a golden crisp before being added to a flavorful garlic and soy sauce gravy in this vegetarian-friendly air-fryer recipe by blogger Harini Rupanagudi of Tamalapaku. It’s the perfect foray into the wonderful world of Indian-Chinese food, a century-old cuisine developed by the sizable Chinese immigrant community that once called the eastern Indian city of Kolkata home. Pair it with one of our favorite fried rice recipes.
You can find these triangular-shaped pieces of dough stuffed with everything from minced meats like chicken and beef to potatoes and lentils. During Diwali and other festivals, sweet versions are common. This air-fryer samosa by blogger Shaheen Ali of Spoon Fork and Food keeps it savory with a mashed potato stuffing inside a simple homemade dough.
Tandoori chicken gets its name from a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven that is traditionally also used to make naan. According to blogger Aneesha Gupta of Spice Cravings, it is the enzymes naturally present in the yogurt marinade that help tenderize the chicken. Using her air-fryer recipe offers tasty results: a perfectly crispy exterior with a succulent interior.
Nippattu (Rice Flour Crackers)
Traditionally deep-fried, nippattu are savory crackers made primarily of rice flour. You’ll often find them for sale at street food stalls around the state of Karnataka. Sophie G. of My Dainty Soul Curry keeps things light and healthy by making these popular south Indian snacks in the air fryer in under 30 minutes!
New to regional Indian cooking? Here are the best Indian cookbooks to get you started.
Indian Bread Rolls
This air-fryer recipe for Indian bread rolls by Simmer to Slimmer results in golden-brown slices of rolled bread stuffed with a savory mashed potato (and sometimes pea) filling. As blogger Anushree Shetty notes, bread rolls are a kid-friendly appetizer traditionally found in school lunch boxes or served as an evening snack.