This air fryer eggplant recipe is easy, convenient, and packed with flavor - and the best part is, there is no breading involved. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can create a delicious and crispy side dish.
Also called begun bhaja, it is perfect for busy weeknights or as part of a larger meal. Whether you enjoy it with rice and dal or pair it with a main dish like khichdi for a complete meal, this easy and versatile dish is sure to become a staple in your recipe collection.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Easy and convenient: The recipe is simple and easy to follow, requiring just a few ingredients and minimal prep time. No bread crumbs or additional ingredients are required.
- Customizable: I have provided variations to this basic recipe to allow you to adapt and make it your own.
Eggplant: Use large, oval globe eggplant with shiny and glossy skin. Read the FAQs below to see how to select the eggplant.
Oil: I use olive oil to make them. However, it can be replaced with any cooking oil of your choice.
Salt and turmeric: The eggplant slices are seasoned with salt and turmeric.
Spicy: Make a spicy version of these chips by tossing the classic chips in some chili powder or black pepper.
Tandoori masala: Add one teaspoon of tandoori masala to give it a smoky flavor. Top with fresh cilantro or fresh parsley, and enjoy air-fried eggplant slices.
Chili lime: Toss some chili powder with the seasoning and add lime juice just before serving to make a spicy-tangy version.
Rice flour: Add 1-2 tablespoons of rice flour along with other seasonings. This will create a crunchy coating on the eggplants. Make sure to rub the rice flour well and ensure there are no dry bits. Adding one tablespoon of extra oil will ensure the eggplant slices are well coated.
Pizza bites: Spread hearty marinara sauce on the eggplant slices and top with Italian seasoning and cheese. Air fry as per this recipe. Garnish with fresh basil, and enjoy pizza bites.
Step 1: Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Cut them into discs of ¼ inch thickness. Pat dry using paper towels to remove any excess water and moisture (image 1).
Step 2: Transfer the eggplant rounds to a bowl and sprinkle salt and turmeric powder (image 2). Add oil and rub them well, making sure all the slices are coated (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Brush a little oil on the
Step 4: Air fry for 10-12 minutes. The cooking time can vary depending on the
Cut the eggplants into even-sized discs to ensure they are cooked at the same time. You may also cut them into thick fingers, similar to fries.
It is important to preheat the
Do not overcrowd the
The time taken for the eggplants to be cooked depends on the
Traditional accompaniments: Serve the air-fried eggplant slices with a side of steamed rice or warm rotis. You can also pair it with a khichdi for a complete and comforting meal.
Toppings: Sprinkle the crispy eggplant slices over cabbage salad, paneer pizza, or grain bowls to add a crunchy texture and a hint of smoky flavor. They also make a tasty topping for bruschetta or crostini when paired with creamy cheese and fresh herbs.
Use eggplants that have smooth and glossy skin. If the skin is dull, the eggplant is not fresh and may have a lot of seeds. The eggplant should feel slightly heavy for its size and should be firm. When you cut the eggplant, it should have white flesh. Fresh eggplant will have minimal seeds. As the eggplant matures, the seeds increase, and if an eggplant has too many seeds, it may be unusable.
For this dish, you can cut the eggplant either into round discs or thick fingers (like fries). I prefer to cut them into ¼-inch slices.
While it is not necessary, you can do it.
They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat, place them in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 375 F (190 C).
Use large purple globe eggplants to make this dish. I have not tried them with any other variety.
More eggplant recipes
If you tried this Air Fryer Eggplant / Begun Bhaja Recipe Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.
Air Fryer Eggplant / Begun Bhaja (No Breading)
- Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut them into ¼-inch discs. Pat dry them with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Transfer them to a bowl and add turmeric powder and salt.
- Add oil and rub them well making sure all the slices are coated.
- Preheat the air fryer to 375 F (190 C) for 2 minutes. Brush a few drops of oil on the air fryer basket.
- Place the eggplant slices in a single layer.
- Air fry for 10-12 minutes or until they are well-cooked and golden brown. Keep an eye after 7-8 minutes.
- Air fryer eggplant is ready to be served.