Basil seeds Banana Bread

Basil seeds (sabja seeds) are one of the most sought-after summer ingredients in Asia as these seeds are believed to lower the body heat according to traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda also. You may check out the other health benefits of these sensational basil seeds here.

It is a common sight in the super markets here displaying a number of basil seeds’ products, and the refreshment shops selling fruit juices & ice creams with added basil seeds to attract more customers during summer.

Nevertheless I used to add soaked basil seeds into my regular foods like chappathi (flat bread), raitha (yogurt based salad), fruit juices, puddings, etc. to beat the notorious scorching summer heat here in Chennai.

I also like to add basil seeds into my egg free baking recipes as the substitute for eggs. Now I have prepared an Indian-flavored American banana bread with soaked basil seeds replacing eggs, jaggery as sweetener, cardamom powder for sweet aroma, ginger powder for the sharp flavor and ghee-roasted coconut pieces & raisins for adding texture. I could enjoy the gritty basil seeds, lovely banana flavor and sweet cardamom aroma in every bite, and the chewy coconut pieces & juicy raisins made this bread even more delectable. With no further elaboration of texture & flavor of basil seeds banana bread lets move on to the recipe:


Main ingredients:
Whole wheat flour1 and 1/2 cups
Baking powder1 tbsp (heaped)
Dried ginger1/2″
Mashed banana1 cup *
Powdered jaggery3/4 cup
Soaked sabja seeds1/2 cup **
Neutral oil1/2 cup
Ghee-roasted coconut & raisinsas desired
For garnishing:
Coconut pieces (slivered)as desired
Cashew nutsas desired

* I used 2 large ripe red bananas.

** I added about 1 tbsp of basil seeds into 50 ml of water, and then the seeds absorbed all the water and swelled into gel like globules in just 2-3 minutes.

Mise en place:

  • Line the loaf pan with parchment paper as shown below.
  • Powder the cardamoms & dried ginger using mortar & pestle and leave aside.
  • Keep the banana & jaggery mixture ready.
  • Roast coconut & raisins in hot ghee and keep aside.

Banana bread baking:

  • Preheat the oven at 170 deg C.
  • Sieve the whole wheat flour along with baking powder, cardamom powder & ginger powder through a fine mesh into a mixing bowl.
  • Pour banana-jaggery mixture followed by soaked basil seeds & oil into the bowl.
  • Mix them using a hand mixer (or whisk) at low speed.
  • Add roasted coconut & raisins into the dough and mix again.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Garnish with raw coconut pieces & cashew nuts.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove the pan from oven and leave it aside until it reaches the room temperature.
  • Transfer the loaf to a plate and slice it after few hours to enjoy the intense banana flavor.
  • Serve delicious banana bread for breakfast with peanut butter or jaggery syrup.


We can make appam (pancake) or paniyaram (appe) quickly on the stove top using the same batter instead of baking the bread for 40 minutes. We just need to dilute the batter with little water or milk before making appam or paniyaram and they can be served as after school snacks for children. We can also bake cupcakes for 15 minutes using the same batter after reducing baking powder to one teaspoon and adding half a teaspoon of baking soda.


94 Comments Add yours

  1. Lady Oscar says:

    Wow! really?! Basil seeds! This is so amazing. Also, using dry ginger in baking is a great idea.
    Thank you so much! I learned a great lesson again. I can’t wait to try this recipe this week.

    1. Megala says:

      Oh, thanks a ton! Looking forward to your feedback.

      1. Lady Oscar says:

        Dear Megala, it is delicious! I found basil seeds at store.
        Also, I put a little walnuts… just for fun, but it turned out very nice!
        Thank you for the beauty of food experience. Have a nice weekend! ^^

      2. Megala says:

        I’m so happy to hear this. Thanks very much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback.

  2. How fascinating! I have never heard of basil seeds in recipes but I do grow basil leaves. I wonder if the leaves have the same health benefits?

    1. Megala says:

      I hope basil leaves do possess the same health benefits to some extent.
      Thanks Diane!

  3. Timelesslady says:

    This is something new to me. I didn’t know basil seeds were used in cooking. Thanks for the great information.

    1. Megala says:

      Most welcome! Thanks much for stopping by.

  4. Scrumptious. ๐ŸŒ

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, it was! Thank you.

  5. Nisha Sharma says:

    I am going to try this soon๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Megala says:

      Oh! Thanks. Please let me know how you like it.

      1. Nisha Sharma says:

        Absolutely, done deal๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿฅฐ

  6. We use sabja in juices and pudding but using it in baking is new information for me, thanks.

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, it is common to add them into every summer drinks & desserts, and I think you would like this avtar as well. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you.

  7. Yum! I love banana bread. I should look for some basil seeds.

    1. Megala says:

      Glad to hear this, thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I have trouble finding basil seeds, but they do seem very similar to chia seeds for their binding properties. I’ll have to try your recipe with that substitute!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you!

  9. Thankyou for sharing this reciepe. It looks delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹

    1. Megala says:

      You are welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Nisha says:

    Such a great idea to add basil seeds in the bread. Will try that next time

    1. Megala says:

      Oh, thanks! Please let me know how it turned out for you.

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