It's easy these days to buy ready-made garlic mayonnaise or even ordinary mayo and then cheat by adding a clove or two of garlic. The sad thing about this is that making real spanish Alioli takes minutes and is surprisingly simple. For anyone with a taste for the full-blooded, Mediterranean version, this is a recipe from an authentic spanish matriarch I became friends with during my time in spain.

What You Will Need

  • Electric Hand Blender - flat-headed with blades at the dangerous (head) end to chop and purée.
  • 1 Large Fresh Egg.
  • 1 or 2 Garlic Cloves - depending on how “hot” you like your Alioli.
  • 200ml Vegetable Oil - I use sunflower or rapeseed oil.
  • 200ml Virgin Olive Oil - a bit of an acquired taste for some and a bit expensive for others so substitute the olive oil for an equal amount of vegetable oil to suit your taste and budget.
  • 1 Pinch of Salt - a rather large one please.


  • Place all the ingredients in a deep, narrow container or bowl suitable for blending liquids.
  • Place the blender head into the mixture and flat on the bottom of bowl. Hold it down firmly.
  • Turn on the blender and keep it pressed down on the bottom of the bowl. It is important not to move the blender at first as it will allow too much oil to seep too quickly into the blade area and it’s likely to curdle. After a few seconds, the mixture will start to thicken and turn a “mayonnaise” colour. Now start to gently “tip” the edge of the blender head slightly to one side so that more and more oil gradually seeps underneath to the blades. Keep doing this slowly until the oil is all mixed in - this should take about half a minute to a minute.
  • Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and enjoy.


  • Play with the ingredients, adding more garlic, salt or adjusting the ratio of olive oil to vegetable oil to suit your tastes.
  • Don’t get too carried away, Alioli is extremely high in fat and calories.
  • Homemade Alioli can only be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days at most and because it’s made with raw eggs, young kids and pregnant women beware.
  • Alioli is great with freshly baked, crusty french stick or with vegetable crudités. It’s also fantastic to dollop on the side of another traditional spanish dish - paella.
  • If your mixture does curdle, all is not lost.  More often than not, you can save it by removing the blender, adding another egg yolk, placing the head of the blender back in over the egg yolk, pushing it down to the bottom of the bowl. Once the blender is flat on the bottom of the bowl, turn it on and repeat the slow blending movement again.