Let's make the schug. You can make it up to a week in advance! Use it like hot sauce on everything. In a food processor, combine jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and cardamom. Add lemon juice and olive oil until you have a texture you like, I like it chunky. Season with salt to taste.
Now, it's chicken time. Combine all the chicken spices together in a small bowl.
Place diced chicken in a large bowl and toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and juice from 1/4 lemon. Add in shawarma seasonings and toss to combine and coat. You can use it right away or marinate for up to 1 day for even more shawarma flavor.
To make the creamy tahini sauce, mix together all ingredients in a medium bowl (or a mini food processor) and add enough water to get a thick but runny texture. Feel free to double this and use extra on veggies, salmon, etc.
To make the Israeli salad, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl except the za'atar. Sprinkle on za'atar right before serving. This is best the day it's made. Don't make this one ahead!
Now, the latkes! Start by shredding your potatoes with a grater (or a food processor if you must) into a bowl of ice water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove potatoes, squeezing out the moisture into the water. Dry potatoes very well with towels. Let sit 10 minutes for starch to accumulate on the bottom. Carefully drain water, reserving the white starch on the bottom. This part is optional, but helps make crispier latkes with soft insides. You can also add potato starch.
Place potatoes in a large bowl, dry again very well. Then add in the egg, flour and all the shawarma spice and reserved starch and combine.
Set up a cooling rack over paper towels.
Meanwhile, heat up canola oil in a large saute pan. A dab of schmaltz never hurt either my Bubbe always says. Scoop heaping spoonfuls of the potato mixture and flatten slightly and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and fry the other side. Sprinkle with more salt and drain on a rack over paper towels.
Okay, back to the chicken. When you're ready to cook the chicken, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken in batches- do not crowd the pan, you want to be able to get the chicken nice and crispy. If you want to cook it ahead of time, you can always cook the chicken up to a day ahead, cool and refrigerate, and then extra crispy it up in more oil before serving! The chicken doesn't dry out because the thighs have enough fat. Yay for fat!
Drizzle cooked chicken with remaining lemon juice and serve immediately with latkes and all the toppings. Enjoy!