Note: To select mangoes for this recipe, go for the ones that are more green than yellow—they should be just entering their ripening phase and not yet totally soft to the touch.
- 2 large mangoes (about 1 pound total)
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom powder
Combine mangoes and water in a medium pot. Simmer until a spoon pressed into the mango's surface makes a dent, about 30 minutes. Remove from pot. Cool. Remove skin and seed and mash the flesh in a heavy based saucepan.
Heat pulp over medium heat while stirring, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, saffron and cardamom and stir until sugar has dissolved, another five minutes. Taste mixture and add more sugar if necessary. Remove from heat and cool in. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve, put 2 tablespoons of mixture to a glass and top with ice cold water (you can also add a pinch of toasted ground cumin, salt, or finely shredded mint leaves as a final garnish). Stir well.