An experimental investigation was carried out on a small direct injection (DI) diesel engine, fuelling the engine with 10% (B10), 20% (B20), 30% (B30) and 40% (B40) blending of Koroch seed oil methyl ester (KSOME) with diesel. The performance and combustion characteristics of the engine at various loads are compared and analyzed. The results showed higher brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) and lower brake thermal efficiency (BTE) for the KSOME blends. The engine indicated power (IP) was more for the blends up to B30, but found to be reduced for the blend B40 when compared to that of diesel. The engine combustion parameters such as pressure crank angle diagram, peak pressure, time of occurrence of peak pressure, net heat-release rate, cumulative heat release, ignition delay and combustion duration were computed. The KSOME blends exhibited similar combustion trend with diesel. However, the blends showed an early start of combustion with shorter ignition delay period. The study reveals the suitability of KSOME blends up to B30 as fuel for a diesel engine mainly used in generating sets and the agricultural applications in India without any significant drop in engine performance.