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Best Veggie Burgers!

If you like a good veggie burger, I’m betting you’ll love this fresh Vegan Black Bean & Sweet Potato Patties recipe for Memorial Day festivities! It’s easy, it’s delicious (of course!) and it’s perfect for casual entertaining during these summer months.

I haven’t had a real hamburger in about thirty years, and I’ve never truly missed them. However, I do occasionally crave that classic American experience of biting into a bun with a mound of protein, mustard and ketchup! A freshly made veggie burger will more than suffice.

Today’s recipe was inspired by delicious burgers Tom and I ate at The Present Moment Café in St. Augustine, Florida during an anniversary weekend. The chef may not be familiar with Ayurvedic cuisine, but it was nonetheless brilliant to pair hard-to-digest black beans with soft and grounding sweet potatoes. I’ve added garlic powder, gluten-free asafetida, and cumin to aid digestion. The asafetida isn’t essential if you can’t find it, but it does help digest legumes, and you can find gluten-free asafetida at Savory Spice  (both online and in 28 cities). A little bit of psyllium husk helps bind the ingredients (and move them out the next day! Yes, psyllium husk is an Ayurvedic remedy for the colon.) You can find it at many health food stores and online.

Now, for a brief story about how kitchen mistakes can lead to a more perfect recipe: I blended all of the ingredients in my first experimental batch in a food processor. Everything was perfectly combined, but I wasn’t crazy about the texture, which seemed a bit too soft. Then, on Saturday while preparing my favorite summer carrot soup with coconut milk for guests (page 99 in Sacred & Delicious), I stuffed two carrots instead of one into the food processor’s feeder—my bad!—and they are permanently stuck. Neither my husband nor I could extract them, and the plastic piece broke in the process, sadly rendering my processor ready for the landfill. So last night, as I was combining beans, potatoes, and spices, I realized I’d have to resort to a potato masher. And the magic happened! The less-processed outcome is a much better texture for a veggie burger.

(And while we’re on the topic of best veggie burgers, I hope you’ll try the Mung Bean Burgers in Sacred & Delicious: A Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook on page 147.) Mung beans are the easiest bean to digest, so I make these burgers more often, and friends at our table rave about them.

Wishing you a joyful summer with some sweet down time to regenerate from months of hard work and not enough play! Enjoy these Vegan Black Bean & Sweet Potato Patties when you want something fun, delicious, and healthy on your family’s plate.


P.S. Like this recipe? Leave me a message!





Preparation time: About 50 minutes with a pressure cooker
or more with a standard pot
Makes 10 patties


Enjoy these patties like a classic burger on a bun with your favorite condiments, and lettuce or sprouts. Or forego the buns and top your patties with avocado slices or fresh guacamole.


2 cups dried black beans
2 cups cubed sweet potatoes (1 extra-large or 2 medium potatoes)
2 teaspoons psyllium husk (whole flakes)
2 teaspoons mineral salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
⅛ teaspoon gluten-free asafetida (optional)


1. Soak the beans for 8 hours or longer. When ready to cook, strain the beans and rinse them three or four times. Cook them in a standard pressure cooker with 6 cups water on high heat until the pressure reaches its maximum limit, and remove the pot to allow the pressure to release naturally. If using an Instant Pot, follow the directions for beans. Cook them in a standard pot by bringing the pot to a boil; then reduce the heat and cook on medium heat for about 45 minutes or until the beans are just tender.


2. While the beans are cooking, peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Cook the potatoes with a steamer and water for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are completely tender. Move the cooked potatoes to a mixing bowl, and mash them by hand with a standard potato masher. Add the psyllium husk, salt, and spices, and mix well with a spatula.


3. When the black beans are tender, strain them well and add them on top of the sweet potato mixture. Mash them by hand until about half of the beans are crushed. Then mix them well with a spatula until you have a dense mixture that you can form into patties. Scoop out ½ cup to form each patty by hand. Serve immediately, or if you wish, warm them on a grill or on the stove top in a cast-iron griddle with a little olive oil.


Replace garlic with 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder.

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