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Very closely related to what we defined as beans are peas, chickpea, lentils, white lupin – and many other legumes that I’ve never heard about. They are all from the same subfamily Faboideae of the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae).

Let’s see some pictures:

Peas, photo (c) Atomicbre
Lentils, photo (c) Justinc
White lupin
White lupin, photo (c) Atomicbre

The reasons for forbidding peas, chickpeas, lentils and lupin are basically the same as for beans. Crop rotation may lead to actual chametz being mixed with the legumes. You can make flour out of these legumes – I’ve never seen it, but you can find peasemeal (pea flour), gram flour (chickpea flour), lentil flour, and lupin flour online. The discussion about grean peas, etc. is the same as for beans, some permit them (because it’s vegetables), some do not (because it’s still the same thing).

If this is too boring for you, there are some more fancy explanations for forbidding these foods online. One is that "chametz sounds like chimtzei (= humus = chickpeas)" (CJ online). Another one I found is that "The Gemara notes that Rava objected to the workers of the Raish Gelusa (the Exilarch) cooking a food called chasisi on Pesach, since it was wont to be confused with chometz (Pesachim 40b). The Tosefos commentary (ibid.) explains that, according to the Orech, chasisi are lentils and thus, argues the Vilna Gaon, establishes the basis for the concern of kitniyos." (Chabad).

So now let’s check the lists. The OU lists lentils and peas. The Star-k list has chickpeas and peas. Kashrut.com has black eye peas (which are closer related to azuki beans that peas), chickpeas, lentils, lupine and snow peas (which would probably fall in the "vegetable" category). I can understand that lupin is only on one of these lists, but I am curious why peas, lentils and chickpeas are not on all of them. Does anybody have an explanation?

  • Danger of chametz traces: Yes (crop rotation)
  • Danger of confusion with chametz (raw): No.
  • Danger of confusion with chametz (processed): Yes, as flour.
  • Botanical categorization: Legume.
  • Known in 13th century: Yes.
  • Verdict: Kitniot.