To make the cardamom syrup, combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Crush cardamom pods by pressing on them with the flat side of a chef's knife, and add them to the saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, then boil for one minute and turn off the heat.
In a medium bowl, stir together milk powder, flour and baking powder. Add butter and use your fingers to work it into the dry mixture until well incorporated. Add milk, using a very light hand, stir until just combined. Let mixture stand 10-15 minutes (it will thicken up).
Meanwhile, heat oil in a shallow saucepan to a depth of 1" over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add a drop of batter to the oil to test to see if it is the right temperature - if it sizzles but doesn't immediately change colour, it's ready. If it floats and starts to brown immediately, it's too hot (remove from burner for a minute and reduce the heat; test again before proceeding). If it sinks and doesn't sizzle, it is not hot enough.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil, cooking about 5 at a time. Using a slotted spoon, turn gulab jamun frequently until well browned and doubled in size, 4-6 minutes. Remove gulab jamun as they are reading, letting excess oil drip back into saucepan. Add immediately to syrup. Let stand in syrup until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining dough.
Best served warm (you can rewarm them gently over low heat in the syrup).