This is a clear, pinkish-golden liquid made by pressing specially-grown peanuts from Spain, China and India. It is widely known as groundnut oil. The refined variety, specifically produced for export, is treated and deodorised to mellow its strong taste. This oil has a thinner pouring consistency than non-refined peanut oil, and its bland flavour makes it ideal for cooking. It has a high heat resistance, too, so does not burn easily.
Look out for unrefined cold-pressed peanut oil, which has a more distinctive taste.
Peanut oil will keep in a dry cupboard for a long time without becoming rancid.
Peanut oil is the oil of preference in everyday Chinese and Indian dishes such as stir-fries, curries and snacks. It is also widely used in the manufacturing of canned foods, ready meals and margarine. If carefully filtered after each use, it can be re-used a number of times.
Article by Sejal Sukhadwala