I have written extensively about my love for veggie burgers. I’m a huge fan of the variety of grain and legume medley’s that fall under the veggie patty umbrella. I find them satisfying, totally crave-able, and nothing like a regular burger. And that is fine by me. My veggie burger cravings and burger burger cravings are not intertwined. In other words, I would never dream of subbing one for the other. They offer completely different eating experiences. These Curried Kidney Bean Patties for instance, in no way scratch a Big-Mac-style itch. But when I’m in the market for a toothsome veggie burger, they more than fit the bill.
Now, I will admit this is not a looker of a plate. If it weren’t for the pickled cabbage, you’d pretty much have a sea of brown with a few hits of green. But what this meal lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in terms of flavor. The entire meal, gives you a hit of the tropics. It has all the delicious touchstones of Carribean cuisine. Allspice, thyme, coconut milk, and scotch bonnet come together to create a flavor profile that brings to mind your favorite roti shop.
Oh! And this meal is gluten-free and dairy-free. It was sort of an accident, but I’m pleased to say it is. And if you’re willing to forgo the egg in the veggie patties, this meal is vegan too. I always add an egg to my veggie patties. I think of the egg as an insurance policy – the patties are less likely to break when they have an egg to bind them. But these kidney bean and quinoa patties are bound together with chickpea flour, which has considerable thickening powers. Basically, you need to remove as much moisture from your patties as possible to make sturdy burgers and the chickpea flour absorbs a ton of it. So if you’re vegan or not too chicken like me, you can leave the egg out of the patties. I’m, like, 95% sure they will hold together famously without the egg.
The best part about this plate is you can make the patties days in advance and it’s in your best interest to tackle the pickled cabbage at least 24 hours before you need it. And the pickled cabbage keeps for a long time, so if you don’t manage to plow through it on your first go-around, you can always revisit it. Basically, these Curried Kidney Bean Patties are perfect for summer schedules or lack thereof. You can also stash some patties in the freezer, in case of dinner-related emergencies.
The only component of this dish I wouldn’t make ahead is the coconut collards. You can certainly reheat them, but in my experience the reheating process breaks the collards down a bit too much. Now, of course, with collards we want them to break down – they are a very tough green. But we still want them to have some tooth.
The coconut collards are very easy to assemble. Essentially, you sauté some shallots, garlic, and ginger and stir in some allspice and thyme. Then you add the collards and scotch bonnet ribbons and cook until the collards start to wilt. And finally, you pour in the coconut milk and walk away. In 15 minutes you have silky greens in an unforgettable coconut sauce. What could be better?
The Curried Kidney Bean Patties themselves are equally low energy. Simply sauté some shallots, garlic, and ginger and stir in some curry powder, thyme, allspice, and cayenne. Introduce the shallot mixture to two cans of kidney beans and mash everything together. Fold in some quinoa and chickpea flour and crack in an egg. Give the mess a mix and form them into patties. Hot tip: use an ice cream scoop to help you measure. And like I said, you can make these patties well in advance. In fact, their structural integrity will only increase the longer they’re chilled.
So that’s everything you need to know about these Curried Kidney Bean Patties with Coconut Collards and Pickled Cabbage. It may not be a pretty plate but it’s a pretty damn delicious plate.
Curried Kidney Bean Patties with Coconut Collards and Pickled Cabbage
- 2 large sterilized mason jars
- Cast iron skillet
- Large, deep skillet
Pickled Red Cabbage
- ½ head small red cabbage shredded
- ½ red onion cut into wedges
- 1½ cups water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- 3 bay leaves
- ¾ tsp mustard seeds
- 12 black peppercorns
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers
Curried Kidney Bean Patties
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 3 shallots halved and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (1-inch) knob ginger minced
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 2 (540 ml, 18 fl oz) cans red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ cups cooked red quinoa
- ⅔ cup chickpea flour
- 1 large egg
- additional oil for frying
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 3 shallots halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (1-inch) knob ginger minced
- 1 tsp thyme
- ½ tsp allspice
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper seeds removed, sliced into ribbons
- 454 g (1 lb) collard greens washed, stalks removed, and cut into thick ribbons
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tsp demerara sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lime juiced
- Pack the cabbage and onion into two sterlized jars and set them aside.
- Pour the water and vinegar into a small saucepan. Add the salt, sugar, bay leaves, whole spices, and peppers to the pan and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Once the 15 minutes have passed, pour the mixture over the cabbage and onions. Place a scotch bonnet pepper in each jar. Let the cabbage cool on the counter before sealing the jars and transferring them to the fridge. Leave the cabbage to pickle for at least 24 hours before serving.
For the Patties
- Pour the oil into a large skillet and place over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering add the shallots and a pinch of salt. Sauté until just translucent. Stir in the garlic and ginger and sauté for 30 seconds more. Stir in the spices and sauté until fragrant. Take the skillet off of the heat and set aside.
- Place the beans in a large bowl. Add the onions and the water and mash the beans with a potato masher. Leave the mash as coarse or as fine as you like. Add the sugar, salt, quinoa, chickpea flour, and egg. Using clean hands, mix until a cohesive mixture forms.
- Using a large ice cream scoop as a guide, divide and form the mixture into patties. Transfer the patties to the fridge and let chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the 30 minutes have passed, heat an inch of oil in a large cast-iron skillet and fry the patties 3-4 at a time. Fry each side until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the golden patties to a cooling wrack suspended over a baking sheet and sprinkle immediately with additional salt. Keep the patties warm in a low oven until ready to serve.
For the Coconut Collards
- Once your patties are assembled and chilling, it's time to make the collards. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet. Add the shallot and sauté until just translucent. Stir in the garlic and ginger and sauté for 30 seconds more. Add the allspice and thyme and sauté briefly.
- Stir in the scotch bonnet pepper and start adding the collards in batches, waiting for the previous addition to wilt enough to add the next. Once the collards have wilted pour in the coconut milk and stir in the salt and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes.
- Take the collards off of the heat and stir in the lime juice. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Spoon the collards into four bowls. Add 1-2 patties per bowl and top with a tangle of pickled cabbage. Serve immediately with beer.