Air Fryer: Chaat Masala Polenta Fries Dipped in Our Tikka Masala

August 17, 2023

Air Fryer: Chaat Masala Polenta Fries Dipped in Our Tikka Masala

I'm not sure why more people have not discovered the magic of polenta. Made from medium to coarsely-ground flint corn (cornmeal), this beautiful gluten-free and fat-free ingredient is a perfect base to so many culinary inspirations. Typically, you'll take polenta, add water or milk, and simmer it on the stovetop for 40 minutes or more. But, there is an even easier way. You can buy a pre-cooked roll. You've likely passed by this version in your grocery store aisle and not even known what it was. Or, perhaps bought a roll and not known what to do with it. How do I know? Well, I was in Trader Joe's this week and was told they stopped selling my favorite polenta roll because it just did not move off shelves fast enough. So, let's change that with this post and recipe. Because once you figure out how to use this humble ingredient you'll never look back. In this recipe, I make it into an Indian version with my spices and then dip it in our Tikka Masala sauce. 

Air Fryer: Chaat Masala Polenta Fries Dipped in Our Tikka Masala 

1 18 oz. roll of pre-cooked polenta
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon chaat masala
1/4 teaspoon unsmoked paprika
spray oil

1. Slice up the polenta roll. This may be the trickiest step. Simply snip one end over the sink - there is a little water that will drip away. Then, carefully peel away the plastic outer cover without breaking the roll. Not to worry, it's pretty resilient. I then take it to a cutting board and start by thinly slicing off the rounded ends. Dice these up small and cook up as well. Then I cut the roll in half and slice the polenta into strips like fries. They measure out to about 2 3/4 inches long and 1/4 - 1/2 inch wide. I prefer cutting them 1/4-inch wide so they get extra crispy. I end up with about 55 strips. 

2. Lay the pieces on a baking tray touching without any spaces in between. This enables you to sprinkle them with spices without losing too much spice to the baking tray in between the pieces. 

3. Spray the polenta strips lightly with oil and then season them first with the salt, then the chaat masala, and then with the paprika. You can also mix all the spices together first, and even keep a jar of mixed spice to the side for easy spicing. I simply take the spices in one hand and sprinkle them with the other hand so that the polenta strips are evenly coated. 

4. Lightly spray your air fryer basket with oil. Carefully lay the polenta strips with the spiced side facing up into the basket. They should not touch. I can fit 16 polenta strips in my basket - 2 rows of 8 strips at a time. 

5. Cook at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Once done, pull the tray out and let it sit for about a minute. This helps the polenta to release from the basket. Serve immediately with a side of our deliciously addictive Tikka Masala sauce. Many recipes call for you to flip the polenta strips at 10 minutes. I found there is no need and why waste time with this extra step? 

Oven Instructions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the instructions above and spray a baking tray lightly with oil. Lay the polenta strips on the tray so that they don't touch. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove, cool for 1 minute and enjoy. For easier cleaning you can also line your baking tray with parchment paper. 

Polenta Roll: 

Watch the magic!  

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