1. Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and cumin seeds and stir until the spices are very fragrant. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, and coriander, and season with salt and pepper. Stir for 1 minute.
3. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices and the sugar. Return the potatoes to the pan, add the carrots, chiles, and 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender, adding a little water if needed.
4. Stir in the cabbage, cauliflower, and peas. Return the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the cilantro and season again. Remove and discard the cardamom pods and cloves. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with almonds, and serve hot.
Variation: Paneer and Vegetable Curry
Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add a thin layer of vegetable oil. When the oil is shimmering hot, add bite-sized cubes of paneer and fry until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Stir into the curry just before serving, taking care not to break the paneer.