[Photographs: Nik Sharma]

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

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.

Why It 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.

What’s New On Serious Eats

  • Yield:Makes just over 1 cup (150g)
  • Active time:5 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes
  • Ingredients

    • 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. 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. 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.

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