Sephardi Minhagim Regarding Kosher for Passover Foods

  1. Rice and all different types of legumes are permissible to eat on Pesach according to the custom of most Sephardim, as long as they are careful to check rice three times to ensure there is no wheat or barley mixed in.1
  2. Care needs to be taken that no dust of flour came into contact with the rice (or any kosher food for Pesach). Therefore, one may use only natural, unenriched rice for Pesach, ideally a rice with a reliable Kosher l’Pesach L’ochlei Kitniyot hechsher.2
  3. Those who refrain from eating legumes on Pesach are permitted to keep them at home; there is no need to sell legumes to a non-Jew.3
  4. It is the Sephardic custom to use egg matzah (מצה עשירה) during Pesach. This type of matzah cannot be used to fulfill the obligation of eating matzah on the first two nights of Pesach. The bracha recited on egg matzah is Mezonot.4
  5. If one inadvertently cooked with a non-Pesach pot on Pesach, as long as 24 hours had passed from the time chometz was last cooked in it, bedi’eved, the food is permissible for Sephardim.5
  6. Sephardim have no custom to be concerned regarding gebrokts.6
  7. Sephardim only refrain from eating matzah on Erev Pesach. However, if one made a mistake and ate matzah on Erev Pesach, he needs to recite Birchat Hamazon. A person may eat matzah on the night of the fourteenth of Nisan.7
  8. Even though a person may eat fruit, vegetables and rice on Erev Pesach, after the tenth hour of day he should not eat so much as to become full. It is forbidden to eat egg matzah after this time.8
  9. It is the custom among Sephardic communities for women to fulfill the mitzvah of reclining (הסיבה) at the Seder. However, if a woman did not recline while she ate or drank she has still fulfilled her obligation and it is not necessary for her to eat or drink again.9
  10. It is crucial to recline while fulfilling the mitzvot of drinking the four cups of wine and eating matzah. Therefore, a man who did not recline while drinking wine at the Seder must drink another cup while reclining. Nevertheless, if this person has health issues and it would cause him great hardship to drink more wine, he may refrain from doing so.10

1 פסחים קיד:, בית יוסף סימן תנג
2 פשוט דהא חמץ בפסח במשהו
3 הרמ”א סימן תנג
4 שו”ע סימן תסב
5 שו”ע סימן תמז דנותן טעם לפגם מותר בפסח
6 פרי חדש סימן תסא
7 חזון עובדיה פסח עמוד קצו
8 משנה פסחים צט:, שו”ע סימן תעא
9 שו”ת חזו”ע סימן יד
10. שם סימן יג