Combine the crab meat, cilantro, crushed red pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a couple grinds of black pepper and the Fresno chiles and cayenne pepper if using in a medium bowl. Gently stir together until just combined.
Heat 1/4-inch oil in a large high-sided saute pan between medium and medium-high heat until shimmering (about 325 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer).
While the oil heats up, line a medium bowl with a dish towel and add the sweet potato and hash brown potatoes. Squeeze dry and then add to a large bowl. Add the egg, chickpea flour, applesauce, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a couple grinds of black pepper. Use your hands to combine the mixture well. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and form into thin patties, about 3 1/2-inches around and a little thicker than 1/4-inch. Transfer the latkes on to a large plate or baking sheet as you form them.
One by one, scoop up a latke with your hand, patting and reshaping if needed, and then carefully add to the hot oil. Once the latkes are in the oil, fry until golden brown on the first side, 5 to 6 minutes. Then use a second spatula to help flip the latkes over and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a vigorous bubbling at all times. Transfer the latkes to a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
Serve the latkes topped with the crab salad and garnish with cilantro.