For the almond milk:
Place almonds to soak in water. You can pre-soak the almonds for four hours in cold water or use hot water.
Peel the soaked almonds if you like.
Place the almonds and water into a blender.
Sieve through a fine mesh cloth and squeeze out all the milk.
For the date paste:
Soak as many dates as you would like in water.
Put them in a container with a lid and let them sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. Drain off and reserve the soaking liquid.
Place dates and a little of the soaking liquid in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and consistent, adding soaking water if necessary.
Date paste will last in your refrigerator for weeks, and can be used as a replacement for sweetener in a recipe.
For the halwa:
In a stainless steel heavy bottom pan add grated carrots.
Pour the almond milk into the carrots, add cardamom pods and cook until all liquid has reduced. This will take about 30 - 40 minutes.
Add date paste. Stir occasionally.
Add cashew nut paste if using.
Add raisins, top with almonds.
Serve warm or cold.