Wash the millet until the water becomes clear, and you can see the millet through the water. And soak it in water for 10 to 12 minutes.
After 10 minutes of soaking, drain the water thoroughly, and spread the millet on the kitchen towel. Let it dry under the shade for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not dry it in the sun.
Now dry roast this millet in a pan or kadai over medium-low heat for about 6 to 8 minutes until a pleasant aroma comes. Do not let it brown.
Let it cool, and then transfer it to a mixer jar. Now add the ground cardamom as well and grind it into a fine powder. (Please see notes if you want to use green cardamom)
Transfer the ground flour to a plate. The foxtail millet flour or the thinai maavu is ready.
Prepare the thinai laddu.
Add 1 tbsp of honey to the prepared flour and mix well.
Then add 1 tbsp of ghee and mix well.
Now the flour mix will have sufficient moisture. Now take a small amount of the prepared mix and shape it into a small round ball. Press the laddu tightly so that it stays intact. (If the balls are not remaining intact, add one to two tsps of ghee and mix. Then shape them into small balls) Similarly, make laddus with the remaining flour.
Store in an air-tight container. It should stay well for about ten days when refrigerated.
I used my homemade cardamom powder in this recipe. Instead, you can also use whole green cardamoms. While roasting the foxtail millet, you can add the green cardamoms and roast along with the millet and grind them all together.
I haven't tried this recipe by skipping ghee. Ghee adds a nice flavor, but you can also try with maple syrup and vegan butter for the vegan option.
Adjust the honey as per your sweet preference.
Make sure you rinse the millet until the water is clear. And roast the millet over medium-low flame, and do not roast for more than 10 minutes. When you get the aroma of millets and when they turn crisp, turn the heat off. Few millets might turn light brown, but that's okay.
I did not add any nuts or dry fruits. You can add both for enhanced flavors.