Korma Sutra

Simran Patel is owner and executive chef of Korma Sutra (706 Main, 713-229-8200). "It's obviously a play on words," she explains. "The Kama Sutra is known as the Art of Making Love, and our tag line is, 'Have a passionate love affair with fine Indian cuisine.' Korma is an Indian curry with ingredients like cashews, almonds and cream — you know, the food of kings."

Patel, who runs Korma Sutra with her husband, graduated from the culinary program at HCC and is pursuing a master's degree from the University of Houston. In addition to Indian food, which she cooks every day, she's also passionate about French and Italian cuisines. "I was raised in England, where you have some of the best Indian food in the world," says her husband Neil. "The other Indian restaurants in Houston are all missing something and that is authenticity and true Indian flavors," he says. "Forget fusion. We're catering to people who don't mind spice."

At a lunchtime visit, the fish curry wasn't available, but Simran quickly approached the table and offered an off-the-menu salmon tikka to start. This eye-opening appetizer, made by rubbing dry Indian spices on two chunks of salmon before grilling them, quickly made us pay attention. It was followed by a shrimp curry served with beautifully decorated basmati rice.

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Paul Galvani