Passover is coming up this year on Friday, April 6, 2012, and many Sephardi Jews don’t know the customs. Here are a few customs for Sephardi Jews.
You are allowed to eat kitniyot. Kitniyot are ascorbic acid, caraway seeds, sugar, chickpeas, green beans, glucose, lentils, mustard, rice, sesame, soya products, starch, and tofu. Sephardim, like Ashkenazim Jews, are forbidden to come in contact with anychametz. Chametz includes leavened foods, drinks, and ingredients that are made from wheat, barley, rye, spelt, or rye. That means that all cereals and other breakfast foods are forrbiden. It is custom for Sephardim to eat rice and kitniyot during Passover, but you must also follow the laws for chametz. Also, before you eat rice, you must check three times if there are absolutely no kernels of chametz in the rice or kitniyot. The best way to check this is to spread out the rice on a white surface and check for any dark kernels/wheat (You CANNOT let a minor below the age of a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah perform this inspection). Some Sephardi Jews, when cooking, only use fresh legumes and not dried legumes. Unless the dried legumes were dried for the specific purpose of being used for the Passover festival. Sephardi Jews do this because sometimes you could accidentally mix kitniyot flour with chametz flour.
Have a happy Passover!