The Go Wild Go West blog

Foraging: Sticky Willy

Cleavers Curry

Sticky Willy may not be what you might immediately think of as a delicious meal – but it makes for a great curry! Cleavers (or Goosegrass) is the ‘real’ name for that really annoying plant that grows everywhere and the kids love sticking on your back without you realising.

foraging sticky willy
Gathering ingredients

The kids may be a little sceptical as you collect the ingredients together, but reassure them that this recipe is delicious, cheap, quick and easy…

Tips for foraging Sticky Willy

  1. Forage in Spring and Summer when the plants are young
  2. The entire plant is edible but the best bits are the fresh, young leaves
  3. Sticky Willy is commonly found along hedgerows, fields, and in gardens.
  4. Cleavers is actually part of the coffee family roast the seeds once they’re fully hardened to make a cleavers coffee!
  5. You can even make juice! Check out this BBC article on foraging
foragers curry: sticky willy
Cleaver’s Curry

Sticky Willy Curry:

2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
fresh ginger, chopped
3 tsp fresh coriander, cumin powder, and chilli powder
2 carrots
2 tomatoes
3 handfuls fresh cleavers’ leaves
250ml water
100g creamed coconut


  • Fry the onions in the oil over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and turn the heat up to medium. Fry for a further 2 minutes
  • Stir in the ginger and all the spices, stirring continuously
  • Chop and add the carrots, tomatoes, and cleavers leaves
  • Add the water and the coconut milk and simmer for approx. 15 minutes until cooked.
  • Serve with rice

The seeds of sticky willy are also great to use as ammo in a bamboo pea-shooter!
For more forager’s recipes check out our wild garlic and nettle soup here. Or perhaps add cleavers leaves to a campfire bannock?