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mango dahl with 4-spice mix

A bowl with mango and red lentil dahl with a spoon beside it.

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Mango dahl is savory, sweet, and fragrant is an easy, plant-based hearty soup meal that’s ready in less than 45 minutes from prep to table.


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4- spice mix

  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

For the Dal

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. 4-spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. red chili flakes (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups split red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 fresh mangos, peeled and cubed (3 cups)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 a fresh lime or 2 teaspoons of lime juice


  1. To make the 4-spice mixture, heat a small frying pan and add the coconut, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds. Toast the seeds for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove the spices from the pan, transfer them to a spice grinder or mortar. Break up the spices. Set aside.
  3. Heat a medium pot and add the red onion. Saute for 3-5 minutes until the onion starts to soften.
  4. Add the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the 4-spice mixture, ½ tsp. of turmeric, 1 tsp. of red chili flakes, and 1/8 a teaspoon of nutmeg. Mix the spices into the vegetables.
  5. Add the red lentils, mango cubes, and vegetable broth. Bring the pot to boiling, then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer the dahl uncovered until the lentils are tender and mushy. Use a wooden spoon to mash some of the mangoes to bring forward the flavor.
  6. If the lentils are not tender and the liquid absorbed or if you want the dahl creamier, add more vegetable broth and cook for 5 extra minutes. The longer you cook split red lentils, the more they will break down.
  7. Taste the dahl and add more of the spice mixture, salt (if desired), or red chili flakes. Stir in the chopped cilantro and add 2 teaspoons of lime juice (1/2 a fresh lime).
  8. Give the dahl a final stir and serve it in bowls with additional chopped cilantro, lime wedges, or red chili flakes.


  • Use coconut flakes, desiccated coconut, or shredded coconut for this recipe. Just be sure that it is unsweetened.
  • Make the 4-spice mix up to a week ahead. Store it in a jar or sealed container.
  • If you use whole red lentils (unsplit), use the same amount, but allow for 10 extra minutes of cooking time. You may need to add more broth as the cooking progresses. Soaking red lentils is unnecessary. If you soak whole lentils, it will cut the cooking time to about half.