• 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking soda
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 large cloves garlic, cracked from skins
  • 1/2 cup packed mixed herbs such as flat-leaf parsley, mint, cilantro and dill
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • About 3 to 4 tablespoons bottled water
  • Olive oil, about 1/4 cup, enough to coat a large skillet in thin layer
For the Tahini Sauce:
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
For the Fixins:
  • 1/2 pound deli-sliced Havarti with dill
  • Chopped Romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • Chopped and drained hot pickled vegetables (Giardiniera) or banana pepper rings

Soak the chickpeas overnight with baking soda (as an alkali, it helps to break down and tenderize the legume). Or, quick soak by pouring 6 cups boiling water over the chickpeas and baking soda, and let stand at least 1 hour.

Drain chickpeas well and place in a food processor with remaining falafel ingredients, except the olive oil. Pulse into a very finely chopped mixture that looks like thick sand.  Chill at least 1 hour then form firm 6 patties that are 4 to 5 inches in diameter.

Combine garlic and lemon juice in a high-power blender or food processor and purée to smooth. Add tahini, cumin and salt and pureé. Thin sauce with a little bottled water as necessary, the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Coat a large skillet with a thin layer of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add patties and cook to brown, 3-4 minutes. Turn, cook another 2-3 minutes then top with cheese to melt under a loose foil tent.
Take a large, half-moon shaped pita and pile a little lettuce, hot veggies and tahini sauce on half then top with patty melt and fold pita over top.