Black Bean Curry Burger!! Inspired by Verdegreens Farms!

I started my week with a trip to Verdegreens Farms! Verdegreens is a modern hydroponic farm located in Acres Homes, specializing in gorgeous leafy greens, lettuces, microgreens, and culinary herbs.

David Philo is one of the owners of Verdegreens Farms. He gave us a very informative educational tour!

Farming is great for mental health!

We spent the morning learning about the processes of the farm and how they’ve grown, and then we transplanted lettuce from the nursery into the greenhouse!

Time lapse of removing baby lettuce from trays and putting it into floating trays!

After our shift, we cooked some Green Lentil Gouda Burgers for the staff and volunteers. We harvested fresh mustard greens that were growing in the compost pile. They provided a great natural spice!

We cooked for 10 people for a delicious farm lunch!

It’s really a treat cooking ingredients from a fresh harvest.

At the end of our day, we got to harvest some fresh crops. Pictured below from top to bottom is roselle, curry leaves, Devil’s Tongue peppers, Aleppo peppers, kaffir lime leaf, kaffir lime, turmeric, and nasturtium!

Vibrant harvest from the farm!

During the tour, David mentioned that kaffir lime is part of the base of a great green Thai curry, and from that point on, my mind was set on making a curry burger this week.

I had both green and red peppers, so I started looking up recipes for both green and red curries. I loved a lot of the ingredients from both sides, so I came up with a recipe for my own curry paste!

One of the keys to a curry paste is reaching the right level of spice.

I had four different peppers on hand – Aleppo, Thai chili, tabasco, and Devil’s Tongue. I didn’t know exactly what these tasted like, so I started off this curry process by tasting each of these peppers to determine their flavor profiles. I documented the somewhat painful process for you to see!

The Aleppo pepper had a delicious natural sweetness and a mild heat. The Thai chili was my favorite flavor wise, and the spice level was delightful. The tabasco pepper was so hot that I couldnt really taste the flavor! And the Devils Tongue had a nice sweetness, smokiness, and strong heat.

Because each profile was quite different, I decided to use all four peppers in my curry. I ended up using 4 Aleppos, 5 Thai chilis, 5 tabascos, and about half of a Devil’s Tongue.

The best part about a curry paste is the depth of flavor.

Borrowing from other recipes, I also used:

  • Greens – Thai basil, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaf
  • Citrus – Meyer lemon juice and kaffir lime zest
  • Aromatics – garlic, shallot, ginger, and turmeric
  • Spices – cumin seed, coriander seed, black pepper

I blended the peppers, greens, citrus, aromatics, and spices in a food processor, adding just enough olive oil to bring the mixture to a paste consistency.

Vibrant green-red curry paste.

With this done, I was ready to form my burger! I had cooked some black beans and super sweet sweet potato the day before, so all I had to do was infuse some flavors into an onion base for the patty.

I cooked a kaffir lime leaf and some curry leaves in olive oil, and I added some cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds. This created a flavorful oil with hints of spice and citrus.

I was careful to not burn the kaffir lime or curry leaves.

Once the mustard seeds started to pop out of the pan, I removed the leaves and added onion, ginger, and turmeric. Once the onions sweated down, I was ready to form my burger!

Let’s make plant-based burgers!!!

I had done most of the flavor work with the curry paste and the onions, so it was just a matter of mixing at this point.

I combined:

  • Black beans
  • Cooked sweet potato
  • Onion mixture
  • Curry paste
  • Cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

To get a delicious patty mix. I started eating this before I formed patties and put it on the grill…it was really that good!

I thought about adding rice flour, but the patty was holding together quite well, so I didn’t at first. The patty did come out a bit mushy after cooking it with just a sear, so I added rice flour to the second patty I made, and I baked the patty at 400 for about 8 minutes to remove a bit more moisture from the center.

What’s a burger without toppings?

This patty is a really bold flavor, so I used some toppings that could match!

I went with Revival Provisions Spicy Sinner mustard for my bottom bun, and some curry paste for my top bun. I added classic lettuce, tomato, onion for a great burger! Paige and I fried some Atkinson green tomato for a nice crunchy, juicy side dish!

Still looking for a good liquid coating to fry green tomatoes.

The second time I made it, I mixed the curry paste with some yogurt to create a creamy curry sauce. This helped cut some of the super spicy bites, and it added a great balance of flavor and texture. And the picture is just beautiful!

I paired this burger with baked sweet potato chips!

And there you have it! This burger patty was absolutely packed with flavor. When I first tasted it, I got hit with Thai basil and Thai chili. Some bites have a nice ginger and turmeric aroma. The tomato and spicy yogurt sauce add a nice juicy flavor, and the onion provides that crunchy texture that is needed on a burger.

Check out the video and recipe for more hints and details on how this burger came to be!

Black Bean Curry Burger and Curry Sauce

Start with a scratch curry sauce to go in and on top of a next-level black bean burger.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 6 burgers
Cost: $10

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients

Vibrant Curry Paste

  • 30 leaves Thai basil
  • 10 stalks cilantro
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 4 Aleppo peppers or one red bell pepper
  • 5 Thai chilis
  • 5 Tabasco peppers or other hot peppers
  • 1 Devil's Tongue pepper or habanero, or scotch bonnet
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1/2 shallot peeled
  • 1 kaffir lime zest only
  • 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil unrefined

Black Bean Curry Burgers

  • 2 cups black beans cooked
  • 1 cup sweet potato cooked
  • 10 stalks cilantro
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 10 curry leaves fresh or dried
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour

Spicy Curry Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain plant-based yogurt Forager brand is really good!

Instructions

Vibrant Curry Paste

  • Cut tops off of peppers and add dry ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pour olive oil while blending until a paste-like consistency is reached.

Black Bean Curry Patty

  • Place kaffir lime leaf, curry leaves, and mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds in a cast iron skillet in 1 tbsp olive oil. Turn on skillet to medium heat.
  • When mustard seeds start to pop, remove leaves and add onion, ginger, and turmeric. Cook until onions are soft, 3-4 minutes.
  • In a food processor, blend sweet potato and cilantro stalks into a smooth mixture.
    Add black beans, and pulse until about 1/5 of the black beans are left whole.
  • Add black bean mixture and cooked onions to a mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp curry paste, and mix to combine. Add and incorporate rice flour.
  • Form patties of your desired size. Heat oven to 400 ºF.
    Heat a skillet to medium heat, and add olive or avocado oil. Sear patties on both sides until golden brown.
  • Place skillet in oven for 4-8 minutes, depending on thickness of patties. This results in a non-mushy veggie burger.

Black Bean Curry Burger

  • Toast bun in toaster oven or on skillet. Add desired toppings – fancy mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, or whatever you like.
    Mix 1 tbsp curry paste with 1/4 cup plant-based yogurt. Use for a creamy, spicy topping.
    Enjoy!!!

Published by Chester Chambers

MIT grad with a mission to make the best veggie burger in the world

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