Curry Leaf and Mustard Oil Mayonnaise Recipe

The peppery heat of mustard oil and aromatic curry leaves give this luxurious and rich mayo incredible depth of flavor.

Photographs: Nik Sharma

Why This Recipe Works

  • Infusing the debittered mustard oil with curry leaves adds aroma and flavor.
  • The yellow mustard, while optional, acts as a second emulsifier along with the lecithin in the egg yolk, helping to create a more stable emulsion.

The wasabi-like heat of golden-yellow mustard oil matched with the perfume of curry leaves gives this mayonnaise its bold flavorful character. Use it as you would regular mayonnaise: as a dipper for French fries and roasted potatoes, and on your sandwiches. I like to use it on summer tomato sandwiches, with a few crispy fried curry leaves as a garnish.

This recipe can be further tailored to your taste. For example, for an extra kick of heat, you can use cayenne instead of red chile powder, and to give the mayonnaise a deeper yellow color, you can add 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground turmeric.

October 2020

Adapted from The Flavor Equation by Nik Sharma, with permission by Chronicle Books, 2020.

Recipe Details

Curry Leaf and Mustard Oil Mayonnaise Recipe

Active 5 mins
Total 20 mins
Serves 12 to 16 servings
Makes 1 cup

The peppery heat of mustard oil and aromatic curry leaves give this luxurious and rich mayo incredible depth of flavor.


  • 1/2 cup (120ml) debittered mustard oil

  • 12 to 15 fresh curry leaves

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh lime juice or rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon (30ml) yellow mustard (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Salt


  1. In a small stainless-steel saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, rinse curry leaves under cold water and pat dry with clean kitchen towel. When the oil is shimmering, add the curry leaves, cover the saucepan with a lid, remove from heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer fried curry leaves to a paper towel-lined plate; reserve to use as garnish. Pour oil into container with spout, such as a measuring cup.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, combine egg yolk, lime juice, yellow mustard, honey, chile powder, and black pepper and whisk mixture until smooth and well-combined. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle cooled, infused mustard oil into center of the egg yolk mixture, until mixture thickens and oil is completely incorporated. Taste and season with salt. The mayonnaise can be served immediately or reserved for future use.


Make-Ahead and Storage

The mayonnaise can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
24 Calories
2g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 24
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 141mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 23mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)