Cook the oil, red curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, and cardamom in a large pot, stirring vigorously, for a few minutes until the curry paste is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the paste.
Add 1 cup of coconut milk, stir to blend and let the pan come back to a boil. Let it bubble for a few minutes over high heat, stirring often, until you see the red oil separating from the coconut milk mixture. Add the second cup of coconut milk, again wait until the oil separates.
Add the chicken pieces to the pan, with the 1 cup water and the rest of the coconut milk. Let the pan come back to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer.
Add the fish sauce, starting with 2 tbsp. Close the lid and let it simmer until the chicken is done.
Check the seasonings, you might need to add more fish sauce and/or sugar. The flavor of the curry should be salty, spicy, and with a very slight after taste of sweetness. When you taste the curry at this stage, it should be a bit saltier than what you would like the final dish to taste like. If it is under-salted now, the addition of the other ingredients at serving time will make it even more insipid.
Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the container.
Slice the shallots, cut up the limes, chop the cilantro, and set aside.
Put some cooked noodles in a bowl, top with the curry, and the garnish to taste. Squeeze some lime juice into the bowl just before eating.