The experimental work presents the conclusions of a single cylinder diesel engine regarding performance, combustion and emission characteristics using blends of Pistacia khinjuk methyl ester. The physical and chemical properties of Pistacia khinjuk oil methyl ester (PKME) were observed based on ASTM standards. The fatty acid compositions of Pistacia khinjuk oil methyl ester were determined using GC-MS analysis. In the present work, agriculture purpose Kirloskar make Tangentially Vertical (TV1) model single cylinder direct injection diesel engine was used for experimentation. An effort has been made to utilize anti-oxidants namely Geraniol (GE) and Pyrogallol (PY) with PB20 blend to achieve enhanced fuel properties. Higher performance characteristics were observed with PB20 + PY blend than PB20 and PB20 + GE. Also, a prominent diminution in engine exhaust emissions were noticed except brake specific oxides of nitrogen emission was perceived with PB20 + PY blend. The research outcomes confirms that the PB20 + PY provided improved performance, combustion and emission characteristics than PB20 + GE which permits it to be the favourable alternative to conventional fuel. [Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.