Baingan bhaja or begun bhaja is a savory Indian roasted aubergine dish made with sliced eggplants and spices. It is vegan, gluten-free, and low in carbs. Traditionally eggplant slices are coated with spices and then roasted in a pan with oil.
An air fryer is a great option to make this dish as it takes less time and also less oil. Air-fried eggplant slices make a great side dish with any Indian meal.
This recipe of air-fried sliced eggplant is made with no breadcrumbs and without flour. It turns out crispy from the top and soft inside.
Air fryer eggplant slices are easy to make and require only a few ingredients. You will need a large eggplant. To ensure you get a good eggplant look for one which is round, glossy and does not have any wrinkles on it.
A few Indian spices like turmeric powder, chili powder, and coriander powder is all you need to make this delicious recipe. Chili powder can be adjusted to taste. Some garam masala can be added to make it hot but it is really optional.
Last but not the least, some oil is added to the spices so it becomes easy to apply the mixture to the slices. This air-fried eggplant recipe is made without bread crumbs or flour.
Can you air fry eggplant slices?
Yes! Air-fried eggplants are easy to make and turn out crispy from the top and soft inside. They also take less oil while cooking compared to shallow frying them on a pan.
To make begun bhaja in the air fryer, first, rinse and pat dry the eggplant. Cut off the ends and then make slices of about ¼ inch in width. Optionally, soak the slices in salt water for about 5-10 minutes to get rid of any bitterness, and then pat dry them with a kitchen towel.
In a mixing bowl, mix the spices with oil and then apply it to both sides of the eggplant slices with the help of a basting brush. Only apply a thin layer as the eggplants will lose their moisture and shrink in size after cooking so a thin layer is good enough to get the perfect flavor.
Preheat the air fryer and air fry the eggplant slices for about 12 minutes at 390° F. You can arrange them in the air fryer basket in a single layer or even a double layer. Both of them work well. After about 6 minutes, flip the slices with the help of kitchen tongs and continue air frying for the remaining time.
How long to cook eggplant slices in air fryer?
Eggplant slices with no breadcrumbs take about 12 minutes to cook in the preheated air fryer at 390° F. They turn out crispy from the top and soft inside. The time will also depend on the size of the eggplant and the thickness of the slices.
I have made the roasted eggplant slices in the Instant Vortex Plus air fryer and the time may vary by a minute or two depending on your air fryer model and size.
What to serve with baingan bhaja?
Baingan bhaja is best served hot as a side dish with Indian meals. It is eaten with Indian bread like roti, puri, or paratha. It is also served with dal rice or khichdi.
How do you store cooked eggplant in the fridge?
It is best to serve the cooked eggplant hot, however, if you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can reheat them in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes before serving.
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Air Fried Eggplant Slices (Begun Bhaja)
- 1 count Eggplant (large)
- 3 tablespoon Oil
- ½ teaspoon Salt (to taste)
- 2 teaspoon Coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon Red chili powder (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garam masala powder (optional, to taste)
- Rinse and pat dry the eggplant and cut the ends with a knife.
- Make slices of about ¾ inch thickness.
- In a mixing bowl, mix oil, salt, and spices.
- Preheat air fryer to 390° F
- With the help of a basting brush, apply the spice mixture on both sides of the slices.
- Place the eggplant slices in the air fryer basket in 2 layers.
- Air frying for 12 minutes at 390° F
- Open the basket after 6-7 minutes and then turn the slices.
- Continue cooking for the remaining time.
- Check with a fork if the eggplant slice is well cooked, else air fry for another 1-2 minutes.
- Optionally, you can soak the eggplant slices in salt water for 5-10 minutes to get rid of any bitterness and then pat dry them with a kitchen towel before applying the spice mixture.
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