Peanuts are actually a member of the pea family and aren't true nuts, as they have to be dug out of the soil to be harvested. Also known as groundnuts, the pods develop after the pollinated flower stalk has grown down into the soil, where the nuts develop. Peanut oil is used extensively in cooking and for making margarine. The nuts themselves are eaten salted and roasted as snacks or made into peanut butter. Whole or chopped peanuts are popular in Asian cusuine and give satay sauce its addictive quality. They're often served as a garnish on noodles and stir-fries. They're also good in baking and can be baked into cookies or pies.
They’re used a lot in South East Asian cookery; satay is a spicy peanut sauce served with small skewers of grilled meat and chicken.