1 tsp cardamom powder (make sure you use green cardamoms)
A generous pinch saffron (optional)
Oil for deep-frying
Put the milk, sugar, saffron, cardamom and oil in a saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Once the milk has cooled, add 1½ cups of flour and stir to mix.
Add more flour, a little at a time, until you have a smooth dough. It should not be sticky and should be pliable enough to roll.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside at least an hour.
Divide the dough into four sections. Take one portion, form into a ball, and roll into a disc around 5-6 inches in diameter. You want the disc to be fairly thick.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the disc into tiny diamond shapes, around 1 inch each. Separate the diamonds and place them on a dish, not overlapping. Continue with the remaining dough.
Once all your shankarpalis are cut, heat the oil for frying to a temperature of around 360 degrees. You don't want the oil to be too hot or else your shankarpalis will burn outside and remain uncooked on the inside.
Carefully place the shankarpalis in the hot oil, a few at a time, without crowding. Using a spider or a spatula, deep-fry them, stirring, until they are golden-brown. Place on paper towels or in a strainer.
Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of the shankarpalis, for a prettier look.
Recipe by Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes at http://holycowvegan.net/2011/10/saffron-shankarpali.html