To make the sauce, in a medium-sized sauce pan, combine the coconut milk, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, chili paste, cumin and cardamom. Place the pan over medium-high heat, bring it to a strong simmer, cover and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots and parsnips, and cut off about ¼-inch from the tops and bottoms. Then use the peeler to continue to peel them until there's almost nothing left. Make the peels as long as possible, starting from the tops and working your way down — all the way around them. When you're finished, you should have about 4 cups of each vegetable. Set aside. (Save the small amount you were not able to peel to eat as a snack or use in a salad.)
To prepare the leek, cut off a bit from the root end and the darkest green, tough portion at the top. Then cut the remaining portion of the leek into fourths, lengthwise, and add them to a strainer. Run water over them until they're free from any dirt. (You don't need to dry them.)
Put a large steamer into a large pot with the water level just below it. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil and then add the carrot peels, parsnip peels and leeks to the rack. The vegetables will be overlapping and piled on top of each other — this is fine.
Sprinkle with salt, cover the pot and steam until the vegetables are tender, but not too tender! They should be bendable, but not super soft. This should take just a few minutes.
Return the pan with the sauce to the stove over medium-low heat. Add the steamed vegetables and very gently toss everything together.
Serve each portion with a sprinkling of the toasted almonds and a pinch of chili flakes.