Combine the dates, milk and fresh turmeric root (if using powder, add later) in a blender or food processor and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
Add the coconut oil to a small heavy-bottomed pan and place over medium–high heat. Once the oil is fully melted, add the date purée. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook gently for about 5–6 minutes, being careful not to burn it.
Next, add the blanched ground almonds, keeping the heat on low, and mix well to form a soft dough. Then add the coconut and cardamom (and ground turmeric, if using). Remove from the heat and mix or knead until everything is evenly combined.
Press the mixture into the greased and lined baking pan, and, using the back of an oiled spoon, spread the mixture evenly until it is smooth. Sprinkle the extra 1 tablespoon coconut on the top, pressing down lightly. Chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
Remove from the pan by running a knife around the edge and carefully tipping it out onto a board. Cut into diamond or square shapes, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.