The (Besan) Banana Bread with a Twist

Meher Kalra shared, I grew up in a house where every Sunday the house would smell like cinnamon from the banana cake in the oven. West Bengal is one of the largest Banana producers in India.There are literally banana trees lined up on the streets of Calcutta. So naturally, It was our go to snack for me and my brother from our working mother since it's fast and nutritious!

But what would we do with all the leftover bananas from the week ? Eggs, sugar, flour, butter, the usual.

In my early twenties when I was asked to go gluten free and dairy free for health reasons, I replaced my rotis with besan cheela and jowar rotis. So I started making my mother’s favourite banana cake also with besan. It is a very simple recipe but so delicious and it really gave me a sense of normalcy at that point in my life. For all the banana cakes that she made for me growing up , this is my version of her recipe that I now make for her every week.

Over the years, this Banana Besan Cake has become a symbol of celebration in our family. Whether it's birthdays, festivals, or quiet sunday mornings, the aroma of this cake baking in the oven brings everyone together, creating everlasting moments of joy and connection. This is the cake that has now replaced the usual celebration cakes we bought for our midnight birthday tradition and I hope it never changes. I would drink mine with some kind of herbal tea, and my mom always wants it with a cup of frothy nescafe made by me. It’s our Love language.

I am reminded of the power of food to nourish not just the body but also the soul.

As I watch my mother effortlessly mix these ingredients, her hands guided by instinct and years of practice, I am reminded of the power of food to nourish not just the body but also the soul. Each slice of this Cake tells a story of love, tradition, and the simple pleasures of home-cooked goodness.

It's a reminder that the best recipes are not just about measurements and techniques but about the memories and emotions they invoke.

I have not seen my mother in a year now but she continues to bake this every weekend and so do I. And if you ever have the opportunity to savor a slice of our Banana Besan cake, I hope it brings you as much warmth and happiness as it has brought to our family over the years. 

Besan Banana Bread | Recipe

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 large/ 4 medium over ripe bananas
  • sesame oil 1/4th cup
  • Jaggery- 3/4th cup
  • Vanilla extract 1 tbsp
  • cinnamon 2 tsp
  • 3/4th cup besan
  • 1/4th cup Almond flour
  • 1/4th cup rice flour
  • Baking powder 1 tsp
  • Baking soda 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- pinch
  • Toasted walnuts half cup
  • Golden raisins- half cup
  • Chopped Dates- half cup

( For a chocolate version, replace the rice flour with cocoa powder)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9 inch round baking tin or a loaf pan even and grease the insides with some sesame oil.
  • Mash the bananas using your hands. Leave in some chunks.
  • Add the eggs, jaggery, and whisk till it's fluffy and voluminous .(She always passed this
  • step onto my brother).
  • Add in the other sesame oil and vanilla extract .
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and vigorously whisk to combine . Don’t worry about overmixing as there is no gluten in this recipe.
  • Fold in the dried nuts and fruits. 
  • We usually skipped the dates during summer time.
  • Pour into your loaf pan, and now comes the fun part. Choose whichever topping you like.
  • My favorite is chocolate chunks (unsurprisingly) or sometimes a general sprinkle of
  • Black/white sesame seeds.

Here's to the timeless magic of baking and the enduring legacy of homemade treats that fill our hearts and homes with love..

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.