Basil seeds (sabja seeds) are one of the most sought-after summer ingredients in Asia. According to Indian Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), basil seeds are useful to lower the heat of our body. So it is a good idea to add basil seeds into our diet during summer to keep us cool & hydrated. This summer I have baked a loaf of egg-free banana bread using soaked basil seeds as a substitute for the egg.
Besides I like 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.
It is a common sight in the supermarkets 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.
Now I have prepared an Indian-flavored banana bread using whole wheat flour, soaked basil seeds as the substitute for eggs, jaggery as sweetener, cardamom powder for a sweet aroma, ginger powder for the sharp flavor, and ghee-roasted coconut pieces & raisins for adding delicious texture. We 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.
Basil seeds Banana Bread Recipe
|Whole wheat flour||1 and 1/2 cups|
|Baking powder||1 tbsp (heaped)|
|Mashed banana||1 cup *|
|Powdered jaggery||3/4 cup|
|Soaked sabja seeds||1/2 cup **|
|Neutral oil||1/2 cup|
|Ghee-roasted coconut & raisins||as desired|
|Coconut pieces (slivered)||as desired|
|Cashew nuts||as desired|
* I used 2 large ripe red bananas.
** I added about 1 tbsp of basil seeds into 50 ml of water, these 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.
Baking basil seeds banana bread:
- Preheat the oven to 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 the oven and leave it aside until it reaches 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.
How to use banana bread dough:
Instead of baking banana bread for 40 minutes, we can bake cupcakes for 15 minutes using the same batter after reducing baking powder to one teaspoon & adding half a teaspoon of baking soda. We can also make appam (pancake) or paniyaram (appe) quickly on the stove top. We just need to dilute the batter with little water or milk before making appam or paniyaram and serve them as after-school snacks for children.