In the present study, ethanol was added in lower proportions to non-edible vegetable oil “Schleichera oleosa” or “Kusum”, to evaluate various performance and emission characteristics of a single cylinder; diesel engine. For engine's trial, four samples were prepared with 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% ethanol in kusum oil (v/v) and the blends were named as E5K95, E10K90, E15K85 and E20K80 respectively. Neat Kusum oil was named as K100. The results indicated that brake thermal efficiency (BTE) was found to increase with increase in volume fraction of ethanol in the kusum oil. E5K95, E10K90, E15K85 and E20K80 test fuels exhibited maximum BTE of 25.4%, 26.4%, 27.4% and 27.7% respectively as compared to 23.6% exhibited by the neat Kusum oil. Similarly, full load brake specific energy consumption (BSEC) decreased from 16.3MJ/kWh in case of neat Kusum oil to 15.1MJ/kWh for E20K80 with an almost linear reduction pattern with increased ethanol composition in the test fuel. Full load carbon monoxide emissions were found to be 0.18% volume for neat Kusum oil which was reduced to 0.1% for E20K80. Similarly, smoke emissions and unburnt hydrocarbons were also found to be reduced by a margin of 7-12% compared to the K100 operation. However, E5K95, E10K90, E15K85 and E20K80 test fuels exhibited 779, 890, 860 and 877 ppm each of NOx emissions as compared to 795 ppm exhibited by the neat Kusum oil.