In a small bowl, combine besan and ⅓ cup of water. Mix to make a stiff dough. Add 1 teaspoon of water at a time to get the desired consistency.
Heat oil on medium-high heat in a heavy bottom pan.Using a spoon, fill the murukku mold with about 2~3 tablespoons of dough. Make sure to keep the rest of the dough covered to avoid drying out. Once the oil is hot, press the mold over the hot oil and make concentric circles, so that the batter drops in the oil in circular coils. Fry till janthikalu turn golden brown all over. Gently flip it over and fry uniformly on both sides.Remove with a slotted spoon on to a paper lined plate to remove any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Let the janthikalu/ murukku cool completely. Break them up into into small pieces. Place them in a blender/ grinder and process them into a fine powder. If your blender is not powerful enough to make a fine powder, then sieve the powder 1~2 times to remove any big pieces of janthikalu.
Melt 1 tablespoon ghee in a small pan. Add halved cashews and cook until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make Sugar Syrup:
Combine sugar and ¼ cup of water in medium size saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Sugar will melt and the mixture will start to simmer. Keep checking the consistency of the syrup. Once you get to a single string consistency, turn off the heat and remove the pan from heat.
Make Thokkudu Ladoo:
Stir in the powdered janthikalu powder, 2 tablespoons ghee, cardamom powder and cashews. Mix well. The mixture will be loose and a little bit lumpy initially. But keep mixing until everything looks even. Transfer some of the mixture into a mortar and pestle. Pound to remove any lumps and make a smooth mixture. The mixture will slowly thicken as it cools down. Once it is smooth enough to your liking, take about 1~2 tablespoons of the mixture and form into a laddu. Place a roasted cashew half on top of a ladoo and let it cool completely on a lightly greased plate.
If you like a sweeter ladoo, then increase the amount of sugar to 1 cup.
Traditional Bandaru laddu has a half cashew on top for garnish. You can also add chopped, roasted cashews into the besan mixture to give a bite to the laddu.
Store tokkudu laddu in an airtight container for up to 10 days. You can store them in the refrigerator for 1 month.
Here are few tips to make perfect thokkudu laddu:
While making sugar syrup, make sure to turn off the heat as soon as you notice single string consistency. It will thicken as it cools.
If by any chance, you let the syrup overcook, then simply add a few tablespoons of water and cook again until perfect.
Once you add the ground janthikalu powder to the sugar syrup, the mixture will seem very loose. But if the sugar syrup consistency is correct, then it is thicken gradually. But if does not, then simply place the pan back on the stove over medium flame and cook till the mixture thickens.