Combine the yeast and the lukewarm water. Let stand until dissolved. Pour the hot milk over the sugar to dissolve it. Pour the hot milk over the sugar to dissolve it. Add the salt and vegetable oil. Cool. Stir in the yeast mixture, egg, 3 cups of the flour and the cardamom into the sugar mixture. Add the raisins and extra flour. Beat until smooth. Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic.
Transfer to a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly-floured surface. Divide into thirds. Roll each part into a 10-inch-long strand. Braid loosely. Place on a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.