Indian food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. Known for its rich, spicy flavors and a wide variety of dishes, this Asian country is home to well-known dishes like chicken tikka, dal vada (lentil pancakes), and spinach-potato patties (hara bara kabab). Many of these dishes can be turned into Indian air fryer recipes.
If you’re looking for a new way to cook classic Indian food, try using an air fryer! Indian air fryer recipes are the perfect way to add some spice to your culinary repertoire. This healthier method of cooking has exploded over the last few years and allows you to experience the taste without adding to your waistline.
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Why Cook Indian Dishes In An Air Fryer
Air fryers work similarly to a convection oven by circulating hot air around to reach all corners of your food. The result is a crispy exterior that cooks incredibly fast, and a juicy center that will make your mouth water.
Indian recipes in an air fryer work incredibly well! While Indian food is undeniably delicious, it can be quite unhealthy. Ingredients like ghee, cream, and oil are used to give Indian cuisine its rich flavors and can make dishes quite heavy. Indian air fryer recipes give you all the taste and crunch of the original dish, without the oily aftertaste. That said, Indian snack foods like samosas and pakodas are traditionally deep-fried, but are just as delicious and crispy when prepared in an air fryer.
Indian veg recipes in an air fryer are also quicker to make! Deep-frying and traditional cooking methods can be messy and time-consuming, as well as expensive. By preparing your food in an air fryer, Indian recipes retain many of their unique, delicate flavors, without taking up too much of your precious time.
Around 25 percent of Indians are vegetarian, so many traditional foods are meat-free. Some of the best vegetarian air fryer recipes are Indian-based, and allow vegetables like okra and cauliflower to remain crunchy and nutritious during cooking.
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Which Indian Recipes Work Well In An Air Fryer
Vegetarian air fryer recipes are among the most popular choices for those looking to experience healthier Indian cuisine. Popular street foods like crispy samosas and pakoras retain their crunch, without the additional oil and calories that come with deep-frying. Sink your teeth in – you won’t be able to tell the difference!
Tandoori Indian recipes in an air fryer also tend to work out well! Known for its juicy meat and spicy skin, tandoori chicken is a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike. Try this yogurt-tossed meal with a side of bindi fry (fried okra) for a healthier take on an Indian classic.
If you’re after something simpler, naan is a perfect accompaniment for any air fryer Indian food! The leavened dough becomes crispy on the outside, whilst remaining fluffy and moist on the inside – perfect for wiping your plate clean!
Air fryer Indian recipes aren’t just limited to street foods. The swirling hot air creates fantastically tender sweets like gulab jamun (fried dough balls) and nan khatai (Indian cookies) that are ready in a flash and taste just like the real deal.
Need some further inspiration? Here are our favorite Indian air fryer recipes for all occasions. The only problem you’ll have is choosing which ones to make first!
Our Top Picks For The Best Air Fryer
- Ninja Foodi 6 in 1 Dual Zone 2 Basket Air Fryer – Our second air fryer we had in Ireland >> Perfect for cooking two different dishes at once
- COSORI Electric Hot Air Fryer – Our first air fryer in Ireland >> Compact and easy to use and clean
- GoWISE Deluxe Air Fryer Oven – The air fryer we owned in Spain >> Great first air fryer option for beginners
The Best Indian Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Naan Recipe
I love fresh, warm naan. This is an easy homemade naan recipe you can serve with all sorts of meals. A leavened flatbread made with yogurt and flour with little rising involved. This is an air fryer method but you can cook it any way you like. Alternatives include making it on a griddle on a stovetop, but by cooking naan in an air fryer means ou can cook up the naan while a tasty curry cooks on the stovetop.
Air Fried Samosa Recipe
One of the most popular vegan street foods from India, samosa are traditionally deep-fried until crispy. The spicy triangular snack has a flaky outer layer made of all-purpose flour and filling made of mashed potatoes, green peas, and other spices. Cooking this Indian dish in an air fryer makes it quick, easy, and healthier than the deep-fried traditional recipe. This is why I am always looking for healthy air fryer recipes.
Dal Vada – Air Fried Lentil Fritters
Indian recipes do wonders for simple lentils. We cook loads of different types of lentil Indian recipes, mostly variations of curries. But, lentils can also be cooked into tasty fried fritters. Cooking them in the air fryer, though, makes it a bit healthier. Lentil fritters or dal vada is a savory and spicy Indian snack. This is an easy recipe to make in the air fryer.
Chana Dal Fritter
Paruppu Vada or Chana Dal Fritter is a famous South Indian tea time snack. Here I show you how to make these in a healthy version using an air fryer. The chana dal fritter is a protein-rich, vegan, and gluten-free snack you can have any day.
I am not a huge onion fan, when cooked up crispy in Indiana spices, I make an exception. These onion pakodas or bhaji are a popular Indian street side snack. Very popular with chai, these crunchy treats turn out perfect in the air fryer.
Hara Bhara Kabab Recipe
I love all the different types of kebabs and patties in Indian cuisine. Hara bhara are just one type of kebab, made with spinach, coriander, and other vegetables. These spinach potato patties are a popular Indian appetizer. They are healthy and nutritious as well.
Air Fried Chicken 65
We first ate chicken 65 at a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur over a decade ago. I just love this dish and never thought you could make it easily at home. Crispy pieces of fried chicken are tossed in a tasty yogurt sauce in this classic recipe for Chicken 65. Using the air fryer makes it quick and easy to make this spicy chicken.
Air Fryer Chicken Tikka
Air fryer chicken tikka can be a main dish or appetizer! Tender chicken is marinated in yogurt and fried on wooden skewers for a tasty and easy dish. It’s also one of the easiest ways to make chicken tikka.
Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori chicken is a signature Indian chicken dish that is served as a main or appetizer. Spicy and tasty, it is a party-pleaser recipe. It’s one of the my favorite ways to eat chicken.
Air Fried Gujiya
Gujiya is a popular North Indian sweet, dumpling-shaped pastry, stuffed with a sweet filling made with khoya (mawa) and nuts and traditionally deep-fried. This air fryer version makes these Gujiya low fat, and healthier than the traditional deep-fried version
Sabudana Vada In An Air Fryer
Sabudana vada is a popular snack from India, traditionally deep-fried. It is made with tapioca pearls, mashed potatoes, and some spices, shaped into patties and deep-fried. As an air fry recipe for these delectable, crispy, crunchy sabudana vada, with the same flavors and crispiness. Enjoy these low-fat, guilt-free sabudana vada with some spicy green chutney and a cup of hot tea!!
Indian Air Fryer Cauliflower
These cauliflower bites are absolutely flavorful and delicious. They make a perfect appetizer for a potluck or a party.
Air Fried Aloo Gobi
This is one of my favorite Indiana vegetable dishes. There’s something about the Indian spices and the cauliflower I just love! This easy aloo gobi recipe is for Indian-style roasted potatoes and cauliflower made in the air fryer!
Air Fried Okra
This air fry Bhindi Fry ( Okra Fry) is a great healthy and delicious alternative to traditional deep-fried okra. This spicy, crunchy, dish is prepared with okra and a blend of aromatic Indian spices and air-fried until crisp.
Air Fried Indian Desserts
Nan Khatai – Indian Cookies In The Air Fryer
Nankhatai is an Indian cookie and a popular tea-time snack. Check out this easy recipe to make Nankhatai in an air fryer.
Easy Gulab Jamun
Easy gulab jamun are soft and spongy, milk-solid-based balls of fried dough. Super sweet and delicious, these make the perfect Indian dessert in no time. And the best part is, they are not complicated so anyone can make them anytime! Fry the balls or Air Fry them in a fryer either way you will enjoy this treat.
FAQs – Indian Air Fryer Recipes
Yes, air fryers are good for cooking Indian food. Indian cooking is reliant on frying foods like samosas and bread. Air fryers are a healthy alternative to cooking in oil. Additionally, air fryers are great for cooking things like tandoori chicken.
While it’s not possible to make an Indian curry in an air fryer, there are several traditional Indian dishes you can easily make. Favorites like Chicken Tikka Kebab, samosas and Indian naan bread work perfectly in an air fryer.
Unlike a microwave oven, you can use aluminum foil when cooking in an air fryer. Air fryers are much more adaptable to things like aluminum foil and other traditional cooking tools. Users should take care whenever cooking in a air fryer.