How To Use Wild Garlic In Cooking: Recipe Inside
Image Credit: Pixabay. Wild garlic leaves, which can be used to prepare various dishes.

Also known as bear’s garlic, devil’s garlic, ramsons, buckrams, gypsy's onions, and stinking Jenny, wild garlic is a bulbous plant that grows in damp woodlands in Britain, Europe and Asia. However, unlike regular garlic, wild garlic leaves are eaten instead of the bulbs. In Europe and Britain, cooks mostly go foraging for wild garlic in the woods. In India, it is cultivated for consumption and is available for purchase at various nurseries. It also grows in the United States, specifically in regions like Ohio. Some people consider it a weed, but it is more than safe to use in cooking. 

Wild garlic has a characteristic garlicky flavour, but is not as pungent as regular garlic cloves. Although the leaves are most commonly used, all parts of wild garlic—including the bulb and flowers—are edible. After being thoroughly washed and cleaned, the leaves may be eaten raw in salads, or cooked in dishes like soup. Wild garlic can also be used to make pesto, which makes a great base for different types of pasta. It works well when finely chopped and added to mashed potatoes, giving them a nice aroma and taste. Scramble chopped wild garlic leaves into eggs, or toss them with pastas and stir-fries. Wild garlic flowers may be used to garnish salads. 

How wild garlic is stored is also important. The best way to ensure wild garlic is fresh is to place it in a glass of water—bulb-side down—and keep it in the refrigerator. This way, it will last for at least a week. Another way is to wrap the leaves and flowers in a damp paper towel, and put them in the refrigerator drawer. These can last for several days. The leaves can also be frozen. Before freezing, blanch the leaves, submerge them in ice water and let them air dry. 

British food writer and author of Chilli & Mint: Indian Home Cooking From a British Kitchen Torie True shares her recipe for wild garlic pakoras: 

Image credit: Torie True

  • Two large handfuls of wild garlic leaves, washed and dried
  • 160g/2 cups gram flour
  • 1/2 tsp cumin/ajwain/fennel seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida/hing (optional)
  • Chaat masala
  • 200ml approx cold water
  • Vegetable or sunflower oil to shallow fry in a pan (about 2-3cm oil in the pan)


  1. Mix the gram flour, cumin seeds, Kashmiri chilli powder, hing, baking powder and salt with cold water in a mixing bowl. Stir well. 
  2. Dip each leaf of wild garlic into the batter, coating the leaf and smoothing the batter around it with your fingers so that it’s not lumpy. 
  3. Place the battered leaves into hot oil and deep fry until they are cooked. Turn the leaves around in the oil to make sure both sides are cooked. 
  4. Once the pakoras are ready, sprinkle them with some chaat masala and enjoy with a glass of wine or beer!

Note: It is important to be cautious if you’re foraging for wild garlic to ensure that what you pick is indeed what you desire, and not a poisonous plant.