This is a classic Indian dessert served up on chilly winter (relatively) evenings. Not sure about its origins, but I'm tempted to attempt a guess that it was created by sweet shop cooks who may have been boiling down tanker loads of milk to extract milk solids for other desserts. —Panfusine
whole milk preferably unhomogenized cream top
Pour out the milk into a heavy bottom pan (I find my Le creuset soup pot perfect, it has a small surface area at the bottom, yet wide enough to facilitate evaporation).
soak the saffron in about 1/4 cup of warm milk
Heat the milk until it begins to 'boil' and then lower the heat to a medium low (avoid scorching the bottom at all costs), Continue reducing the milk, making sure to scrape off the skin that forms on top, and mixing the said layers back into the milk. This gives the final dessert a lovely flaky texture.
Once the milk has reduced to about a fifth of its original volume (~ 2 hrs), stir in the sugar to dissolve completely. Mix in the saffron infused milk, cardamom and as much sliced almonds as you wish. remove from heat and allow to cool down completely and then chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hrs.
Spoon into serving bowls, garnish with a few sliced almond bits and a couple of saffron strands.