In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of the milk, the yeast, and a pinch of the sugar and let sit for 10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy. Combine another 2 tablespoons of the warm milk and the saffron in a small bowl, stirring well. Keep aside.
I used my processor as usual, to knead the dough. Put 4 cups of the flour, the remaining sugar, the powdered cardamom, and salt in the processor bowl and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the yeast mixture, the dissolved saffron, yogurt and the remaining milk.
Process the dough, adding more flour if necessary till you have a somewhat soft dough. Add the raisins and knead for a little longer till the dough is still soft but smooth, shiny and elastic but not sticky.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl. Turn it to coat it well, cover and let it rise till almost double (about 30 to 45 minutes)
Deflate the dough, shape into a log and divide it into 12 equal portions. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll out each portion into a long and uniformly thin u201cropeu201d about 13u201d to 15u201d long. Fashion each u201cropeu201d into an u201cSu201d shape by curling each end of the u201cropeu201d toward its centre, into a tight spiral shape until you reach the middle of the rope.u2028See the collage.
Tuck in a raisin into the middle of the u201ccoilu201d at both ends of the u201cSu201d shape. Repeat with all the rolls and place them about 2u201d apart, on lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheets. Cover them with a towel and let them rise for about 30 minutes.
Brush them with milk and bake the rolls at 180C (350F) for 25 to 30 minutes until they are golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow them to cool on a rack.