Crispy Keto Air Fryer Paneer (Gluten-Free, Low carb)

Keto Air fryer paneer is a delicious Indian vegetarian appetizer. With just a few ingredients, you can make this delicious appetizer in no time.

Paneer is my all-time favorite ingredient when I want to avoid carbs. The high-fat, moderate protein and low carbs paneer will keep you full for a long time, and you won’t miss carbs in your diet.

Keto Air fryer paneer kabob in wooden skewer plated in a brown dish with dipping sauce

This air fryer paneer is a variation of the traditional Indian paneer tikka recipe that uses chickpea flour, yogurt, and Indian spices.

Today’s air fryer paneer is made without chickpea flour, so those on a keto or low-carb diet can enjoy it too!

Even when you are not on a diet, this simple paneer tikka makes an excellent appetizer and takes less than 10 minutes to cook in an air fryer.

So let’s get cooking!

What is Paneer Tikka?

Paneer is a non-aged, non-melting Indian cottage cheese made from cow’s milk or buffalo milk. Paneer is a very staple ingredient in Indian cooking.

Paneer tikka is a popular Indian dish. Traditional panner tikka is made from yogurt-Indian spices marinated paneer cubes and vegetables of choice (mostly bell papers and onion).

This Air fryer paneer is a keto, low-carb version of the traditional recipe. This marinated panner comes out crispy from the outside and tender from the inside when air-fried.

Can you eat paneer while on a keto diet?

Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is made by combining curdled milk and acid. 100 grams of panner has an average of 5 grams of net carbs, 25 grams of protein, and 25 grams of fat.

So, the nutrition value of paneer fits perfectly for those following a keto diet. Keto genic diet is high fat, moderate protein, and low carbs, and paneer fits this definition well.

Also, its high protein and low carb composition control the post-meal sugar surges in people with diabetes.

Ingredients used in making Air fryer Paneer Tikka or paneer starter

Paneer – Or Indian cottage cheese is the star ingredient here, so use fresh homemade paneer. Store-bought paneer works too. You can find paneer in Costco or any big grocery store.

Yogurt – Use Greek yogurt or hung curd for this recipe.

Ginger – Use freshly minced ginger

Indian Spices – You can use any Indian spices you have on hand for this recipe. I used chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and Garam masala.

Salt

Oil – Use olive oil or avocado oil

Lemon juice – Use freshly squeezed lemon juice

Coriander leaves – Chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Fenugreek leaves – Dry fenugreek leaves as a flavor enhancer (optional).

You also need

Bowl – to make the marinade

Air Fryer – any model of air fryer – basket, tray, and Instant pot with a crisp lid will work for this recipe.

Air Fryer kebob Skewer rack – (optional) If your air fryer model came with a kebab skewer rack, it works great to hold the paneer. My Gourmia air fryer came with a skewer rack. You can also directly put your paneer kebab in the crisper tray.

How to make Air Fryer Paneer ?

In a bowl, take Greek yogurt.

yogurt with chili turmeric spices marinade, paneer cube marinated white dish

Add minced ginger, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder, lemon juice, fenugreek leaves, salt, and olive oil.

Mix all the ingredients to make a marinade for paneer tikka.

Then add the cubed paneer to the marinade.

Mix well to coat the paneer cube.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate the marinated paneer for 30 minutes to let the paneer soak the flavor.

While the paneer is resting, cut the wooden skewers to fit in your air fryer basket and soak them in cold water for 15 minutes to prevent them from burning while cooking in the air fryer.

When ready, gently insert marinated paneer cubes into the skewers.

Marinated panner in skewer, cooked and uncooked panner skewer in black basket

Once ready, place them on the air fryer kebob skewer rack. You can also directly place the skewer on a crisper tray of the air fryer.

Air fry paneer tikka at 400°F for 6-8 minutes, flipping them mid-way through.

Don’t have Skewers? Not to worry. Check out this Air Fryer Paneer Tikka without Skewer recipe.

Tips for success

  • Always use fresh homemade paneer for this recipe.
  • Cut the paneer cube of the same size for even cooking. Cut thick paneer cubes; otherwise, they will fall apart while cooking on skewers.
  • It is important to let marinated paneer sit in a refrigerator for 30 minutes. It will help paneer soak the flavor of spices. The longer you let it sit in the fridge, the more flavor it has. Of course, you can let paneer marinate overnight too!
  • Do not overcook paneer; otherwise, they will get dry and chewy.
  • If you use an air fryer kebob skewer rack, it will only hold 4 skewers. So, work in batches if needed.
  • If you don’t have a skewer rack, can you also place your skewer in an air fryer basket and cook them. Again, make sure to leave enough room between skewers to ensure even cooking.
  • Do not forget to soak the wooden skewer in cold water for 15-20 minutes to prevent burning while cooking.

Air Fryer Paneer Recipe Variations

  • You can add vegetables (bell paper, onions) to your paneer tikka in you like. Marinate vegetables and paneer and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • You can add chickpea flour to your marinade if your diet allows it. Chickpea flour will allow the marinade to stick to the paneer.
  • You can add whatever Indian spices you have on hand to make the marinade.
  • If you like, you can also spice your paneer cube without yogurt. First, gently insert the paneer cube into a skewer and then cover the paneer with spice blend and air fry.
  • If you do not want to use a skewer, you can directly place marinated paneer cubes in a greased air fryer basket and air fries them. Do not use an over-crowed basket for even cooking.
  • Replace paneer with tofu and use vegan yogurt if you want to make it vegan friendly.

Serving suggestions

You can enjoy air fryer paneer tikka as is. They taste delicious, crunchy from the outside, and tender inside.

You can serve them with

  • Tomato ketchup
  • Green coriander Chutney
  • Lemon wedges
  • Salad

FAQs

How long to cook Paneer in an Air Fryer?

Depending on the type of air fryer you have, you may need to adjust the timing of cooking paneer in an air fryer. I have a Gourmia air fryer, and it took me 6-8 minutes at 400° to cook paneer to perfection. You may need to adjust the timing for cooking if you are an air frying paneer for the first time.

Use this time and temperature as a guideline, and check the paneer before 6 minutes is up to prevent burning.

Also, you do not want to overcook paneer. Overcooking makes paneer dry and hard to chew.

Can you store the air fryer paneer in the refrigerator?

Yes, you can store leftover paneer in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. But air fryer paneer tastes great when eaten fresh.

If you have leftover paneers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then, reheat it in air fryer or microwave when you are ready to serve.

Can you reheat paneer in an air fryer?

Paneer tikka tastes best when eaten fresh. But if you have leftovers, you can reheat them in the air fryer at 370°F for 3-4 minutes.

Leftover paneer tikka tastes great with salads. Or make small pieces of paneer and add them to your sandwich.

Can you Air Fry paneer tikka without Skewers?

Paneer tikka can be air-fried without skewers. Once you marinate the paneer, place them in a crisper tray of air fryer and air fry them at 400°F for 6-8 minutes, mixing them halfway through.

There is no difference in taste whether you air fry paneer with or without skewers. Paneer tikka with skewers looks pretty aesthetically.

Air frying paneer tikka without skewers saves you the time of inserting marinated cubes into skewers. The only thing you need to be careful of when air frying paneer tikka without skewers is that they stick to the bottom of the air fryer basket. So, be careful when you are mixing or flipping them halfway through. You do not want to break paneer cubes or scratch your air fryer basket.

The trick for air frying paneer tikka without skewers is to use aluminum foil to line the basket or grease the basket before you add marinated paneer air frying.

Other easy Air Fryer recipe

Keto Air Fryer Eggplant fries

Keto Vegan Rice paper Dumplings

Potato cheese balls without breading (Gluten-free)

Cassava Fries (not keto)

Air Fryer Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats (Vegan, Keto)

Air Fryer Zucchini Pizza boats (Gluten-free)

Crispy Keto Air Fryer Paneer (Gluten-Free, Low carb)

Recipe by PiaraCourse: AppetizersCuisine: Indian
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

8

minutes
Resting time

30

minutes
Total time

48

minutes

Keto Air fryer paneer is a delicious Indian vegetarian appetizer. With just a few ingredients, you can make this delicious appetizer in no time.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams paneer cut into 1-inch cubes

  • ½ cup Greek Yogurt or hung curd

  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste

  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (or tandoori masala blend)

  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek leaves

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • salt to taste

  • Coriander leaves for garnish

  • Equipment
  • Air fryer

  • Bowl

  • Air fryer kebob rack (optional)

  • Wooden Skewers

Directions

  • In a bowl, take Greek yogurt.
  • Add minced ginger, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil.
  • Mix all the ingredients to make a marinade for paneer tikka.
  • Then add the cubed paneer to the marinade.
  • Mix well to coat the paneer cube.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate the marinated paneer for 30 minutes to let the paneer soak the flavor.
  • While the paneer is resting, cut the wooden skewers to fit in your air fryer basket and soak them in cold water for 15 minutes to prevent them from burning while cooking in the air fryer.
  • When ready, gently insert marinated paneer cubes into the skewers.
  • Once ready, place them on the air fryer kebob skewer rack. You can also directly place the skewer on a crisper tray of the air fryer.
  • Air fry paneer tikka at 400°F for 6-8 minutes, flipping them mid-way through.

Notes

  • Always use fresh homemade paneer for this recipe.
  • Cut the paneer cube of the same size for even cooking. Cut thick paneer cubes; otherwise, they will fall apart while cooking on skewers.
  • It is important to let marinated paneer sit in a refrigerator for 30 minutes. It will help paneer soak the flavor of spices. The longer you let it sit in the fridge, the more flavor it has. Of course, you can let paneer marinate overnight too!
  • Do not overcook paneer; otherwise, they will get dry and chewy.
  • If you use an air fryer kebob skewer rack, it will only hold 4 skewers. So, work in batches if needed.
  • If you don’t have a skewer rack, can you also place your skewer in an air fryer basket and cook them. Again, make sure to leave enough room between skewers to ensure even cooking.
  • Do not forget to soak the wooden skewer in cold water for 15-20 minutes to prevent burning while cooking.

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