In a thick bottomed pan, dry roast thick aval/poha on low flame until they are crisp enough to break easily. It should take about 5-7mins with constant stirring. Remove from heat and let it cool down completely.
Pulse in a blender to make a coarse powder.
Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp ghee in the same pan. Fry cashews until golden and set them aside.
Now add the powder aval/poha.
Roast on low flame for 3-4 mins until all the ghee has been absorbed and the aval/poha changes color slightly.
Now add water and quickly mix it to remove any lumps. Continue cooking the mixture, stirring occasionally.
In about 5-7 mins, the mixture should come together. Check if the aval/poha is soft. If there are hard bits, add another 1/4 cup of water and cook for few more minutes.
Add sugar and mix well. The mixture will loosen up. Next add powdered green cardamoms and food color if using. Mix well.
Now add another tbsp of ghee and continue cooking the kesari by stirring constantly.
As the mixture comes together, add the last tbsp of ghee and mix well.
When the kesari leaves the sides of the pan and is smooth, switch of the heat. It should be slightly flowy to get the right consistency after cooling down.
Add fried cashews and raisins (if using). Serve warm immediately!