This recipe is adapted from the one in The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi. The cookbook is a Vedic one, so none of the recipes use onions or garlic. The original recipe calls for pappadam noodles, but we eat it over rice instead.
The sour cream as garnish is key–it tastes a bit bland without.
Broil the tomatoes for ten minutes or until the skins turn black. Plunge into cool water and remove the skins. Allow to cool, then coarsely chop them.
Heat half the oil on medium heat. Fry the cumin seeds and pepper until the cumin darkens a little, then add the curry leaves and asafetida. After about a minute longer, add the tomatos, salt, and sugar. Cook until the mixture thickens.
Heat the rest of the oil. Pack in the spinach and basil, and cover. Cook covered until you hear sizzling, then turn and continue cooking until the liquid is cooked off.
Add the tomato mix, and add half the sour cream.
Garnish each serving with the rest of the sour cream.