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Commercially prepared mayonnaise might be one of your favourite condiments, but have you ever thought of making your own mayonnaise or mayo?

Mayonnaise is very easy to make and the best thing about homemade mayo is that it has this unbeatable freshness, which I feel most store-bought mayos cannot compete with. Secondly, it can be seasoned with anything you like and as per the its purpose. For example, you can add a bit more mustard to your mayo to give your sandwiches that zing; if you want to use it on vegetables, add some garlic; and as a dip, the combination of garlic and basil in mayo is just to die for.

I’m sure once you learn how to make your own mayo, you’ll think of new seasonings that work well for you. Just remember that homemade mayonnaise has a shelf life of 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, so only make the quantity you need.

Watch my video for step-by-step instructions on how to make mayonnaise at home.  A few thumb rules to making good mayo is to use ingredients at room temperature (25-30 degrees Celsius) and not cold, adding the oil slowly and whisking well.

What can go wrong during the preparation

1. You may incorporate the oil too fast. This usually happens at the beginning, when you have to add the oil very slowly. Also, if you find your mayo is getting too thick, loosen it up with a little lemon juice before adding more oil. This will also help combat breakage.

2. Your ingredients are too cold. If your eggs are straight out of the fridge, your mayo is more likely to break. Let them warm up a bit. Ingredients at room temperature emulsify more readily than cold ones.

3. Your ingredients are too warm. If you live in an extremely warm climate and don’t use air conditioning (or work in a hot kitchen), you could end up with broken mayo. It’s all about balance.

4. If the blender jar heats up too much, the heat from the jar also breaks the mayo and give it a liquid consistency.

5. In most recipes, salt is added in the beginning itself but I feel that it should be added in the end, after the mayo is ready. This is me being extra cautious but it helps reduce chances of broken mayo.

A few must-do steps

1. If you’re using only one or two egg yolks, make it in a narrow tall jar so that you can use your hand mixer whisk comfortably. This helps incorporate all the ingredients well.

2. Use a mixing bowl or jar made of ceramic, glass or stainless steel. An aluminum or copper vessel may react with the acid of the lemon and affect the colour and flavor of the sauce.

3. To be certain of success, use three times as much oil as other liquid ingredients (egg yolks and citric juice).

4. You will have oil in one hand and the running mixer in the other. You have to be ambidextrous for the best results!

5. Lastly, salad oil is nothing but a light tasting vegetable oil without any flavor. It can also be a blend of different types of vegetable oils.

6. If you are planning to season your mayo with mustard, then please start with a little Dijon mustard or powdered mustard while whisking the egg yolks to loosen them up before adding the oil. It adds a different character to the mayo and makes it more interesting and flavourful. Mustard is also an emulsion stabilizer, so the mayo is a lot less likely to break when you put some in.

7. If you do not have the patience to whisk, please use a hand mixer or blender. I personally prefer a hand mixer since your mayo might break if the blender heats up too much during use.

Recipe for the homemade mayonnaise

This is the recipe for the mayonnaise that you see me making in the video above.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Total Time: 15-20 minutes


Egg yolks – 2

Salt – 1/2 tsp or to taste

Powdered mustard – 1/2 tsp or to taste

Sugar – 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of sugar or to taste

Cayenne pepper or white pepper – Just a pinch!

Lemon juice or white wine vinegar or a combination of both – 1-2 Tbsp

Hot water (if required) – 2-4 tsp

Salad oil – 3/4 to 1 cup (around 150 ml)*

* I used 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of sunflower oil


1. Beat the egg yolks, mustard, sugar, pepper and 1 tsp of lemon juice in a small bowl until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. (If using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed for about 2 min.)

2. Add about 1/3 cup of oil, drop by drop, beating vigorously all the while until the emulsion begins to catch. It means that the egg and oil will start forming the emulsion without any free droplets of oil in the mixing jar.

3. Beat in 1 tsp each of lemon juice and hot water.

4. Add the remaining oil more steadily, making sure each addition is thoroughly blended before adding the next, beating vigorously all the while. If the oil is not being absorbed, whisk vigorously before adding more.

5. Beat in another teaspoon of lemon juice. Finally, stir in a few drops of boiling water. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. If you like thin mayonnaise, please add some more hot water.

6. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Do not keep longer than one week.

The above recipe will yield 1 cup of mayonnaise.

Instructions for mayonnaise using a blender or processor:

1. Beat the yolks, mustard, sugar, pepper and 3 tsp of lemon juice in a blender cup or work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, and buzz for 15 seconds using low blender speed until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.

2. Now, with the motor running, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of oil (use a moderately high blender speed) in a very thin stream.

3. As the mixture begins to thicken, continue adding oil in a fine steady stream, alternating with hot water and the remaining lemon juice until the desired texture is achieved. Taste and correct the seasoning.

4. Pulse in a few drops of boiling water. Stop the motor, scrape mixture out of the bowl and store in a clean airtight jar. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

PS: All flavourings, be it garlic, wasabi, basil, cayenne pepper and even salt should be added in the end – after your mayo is ready and before the step where we add a few drops of water to finish.

Nutritional info about mayonnaise

a) Mayonnaise is mostly fat. A serving of one tablespoon (13gm) contains 90 calories!

b) Mayonnaise is a good source of Vitamin E. This vitamin is known to help restore damaged cells and improve overall immune system health.

c) Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil for top-notch mayonnaise. Olive oil, which has same amount of calories as any other oil, is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol. Please use ‘light’ or ‘mild’ olive oil for the mayo as these are light in flavor and colour. But if you like the olivey flavor in your mayo, then use virgin or extra virgin olive oil OR a mix of virgin and other seed oils.

d) The protein content in mayo is 2.38gm per 100gm

About The Author

A trained yoga teacher and nutritionist... but a food lover first! She loves experimenting with dishes and creating Indian versions that are easy to make. Balance is a key ingredient in her life and cooking - it allows her to enjoy food but sends her exercising every day.

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