An Indian Film, A New Spice Blend and a Giveaway

This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to the winner, EMILY of Sugar Plum!

I don’t write about movies very often on this space simply because it’s a food blog, and also since I don’t watch very many films. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love movies, but let’s just say the the opportunity doesn’t present itself very often. On the rare occasion that I find myself with a few hours to myself, I’d much rather spend it in a book store (AHH, the silence!) or perusing the shelves of my favorite gourmet food shops. If a film is released that I think I want to see -i.e. not a summer blockbuster or holiday fluff- I tell myself that I’ll just rent it. Famous last words, for Danny and I seldom rent films either! There’s always something better to do with our time in the evenings, like play Agricola or…[glancing out the window]…shovel snow. Not More Snow?!
However, I couldn’t wait to see Slumdog Millionaire after all that I had heard about it and so when my sister agreed to come hang out with the boys on a lazy Sunday afternoon, Danny and I were out the door as fast as you can say ‘popcorn’.
The film does not disappoint and pins you to your seat for an emotional and exhilarating journey to a colorful, yet often brutal India. I loved it, but it certainly tugged on a mother’s heart! Upon my return home I hugged my boys a little tighter than usual and cooked a simple dinner in honour of the movie. That’s where the spice blend comes in.

From Montréal’s spice expert, Philippe de Vienne, comes a special new blend: Route de la Soie or Silk Road Blend. Inspired from his travels to Kashgar and containing only the very best of spices, Silk Road Blend is to the palate what Slumdog Millionaire is to the eyes.
This blend marries the flavors of traditional Chinese, Persian, and Indian cooking. It contains over fourteen spices including Iraninan rose petals, green and white cardamom, casse, fennel, ginger, long pepper, saffron, anise, black pepper, white pepper, cloves, cumin, and rose buds. I used it in perhaps the simplest way possible: a rub for a Cornish game hen that I finished with a drizzle of honey. It was excellent! This dish perfumed the house with its extraordinary bouquet and transported us back to Central Asia.

Since you absolutely must try this blend, I am giving away one can to a lucky winner! Leave a comment before February 1 and your name will be entered to win. To get a second entry, blog about this giveaway and let me know where you have done so. Winners will be announced sometime on Sunday, February 1.
Good luck to everyone!

Silk Road Blend and more of M. de Vienne’s spices can be purchased online or at
Olives et Épices
Marché Jean Talon

7070 Henri-Julien etal C-11,

Montréal, Quebec

Roasted Cornish Hens with Silk Road Blend
Serves four.

(You can find Philippe’s original recipe here, which I only just discovered! It’s in French, but likely far better than mine below! I’ll give it a try next time.)

Two Cornish Game hens, rinced and patted dry
1 tablespoon Silk Road Spice Blend

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup honey

Grind spice blend until fine and place in a small mixing bowl. Add garlic, salt and melted butter and mix well. Using your hands, rub spice mixture generously all over the hens. Marinade for an hour or two.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Place hens in a roasting pan and then in the oven. Roast for about 45 minutes or until tender and the leg easily pulls away from the carcass. Remove hens from oven and pour honey all over them. Allow to rest for at least five minutes.
To serve: use a sharp carving knife to remove the leg. Slice down the breastbone and remove the breast and wing.
Serve a leg and a breast per person.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Oh man I want to see that movie so badly! We need to get ourselves a sitter and GO. The spice blend looks lovely too, and I am a lucky kind of girl…right 🙂

  2. I have to see that movie. We don’t go out often to watch movies either. I love the color in that tin of spices. Looks so great and it must have a beautiful smell.

  3. You are going to laugh….my hubs never goes to movies. We have been married soooo long (hand over mouth 25 years) and I think as a couple we have gone once. But I go with kids and friends. Add to rental list Bride Wars, funny girls. Sisterhood . I love rubs and I use them frequently. I even grill in winter complete with gloves, coat and tongs. he he Thank you for putting my name in the “computer’s hat?”

  4. Hey Aimee, hi first time here n u sure hve a treasure trove! awesome blog n neatly put together.

    i ive watched the movie n boy,its entertaining! glad u liked it too, n the indian spices…sounds like u really are a fan.

    wud love to hve u over at my place once in a while 🙂

  5. Hmm, I was thinking of seeing that movie since I noticed the theater near me was playing it in voix original with subtitles (a rare find, and I hate, hate dubbing). Now I just have to convince myself to spend the money.
    I love silk road inspired cooking. Have you ever seen this book: It is amazing, as much story as cookbook. Although is is a bit expensive, it is totally worth every penny.

  6. We saw this on Saturday night, such a great film. It made us want Indian food too.

  7. Just the other day my husband and I worked out that we haven’t seen a film together in the theatre in 4+ years….Our daughter is 4.5….Coincidence? I think not.

    However, I really would like to see this one on the big screen. It may be time to start seriously considering babysitters!

    PS I just blogged about your pita bread recipe–fab!

  8. A movie that shouldn't be missed…perfectly made, fast paced & deeply touching too. The spice box reminds me of the people who made the film; just the right blend! We saw it last week, & it comes back to me, all the time, frame by frame!

  9. Can’t wait for that movie to premiere here!
    What a beautiful spice, Aimée! Love the petals!

  10. Some friends were raving about the movie this weekend. I rarley fork over the $15 it costs for an actual movie ticket – but it looks like this one is a must! What a great giveaway! The rose petals have piqued my interest because I am obsessed with a rose petal tea.

  11. Under the High Chair
    “An Indian Film, A New Spice Blend and a Giveaway”
    It is a good movie. I will try the new recipe the coming sunday.

  12. We did the exact same thing but actually got to go out for dunner after as well. We had Indian! I purchased a set of spices for my brother-in-law who loves to cook and he hasn’t stopped talking about it! Great products!

  13. Phew, I thought there was a spoiler here! lol

    This spice blend is as mysterious as the Orient…I’m in!

    The chicken looks fantastique!

  14. Oh how I would love the spice blend, I can almost smell it through the computer screen!

  15. Everyone is talking about that movie!! I have to get my butt to the movie theatre before the little one comes, otherwise I worry that I will never get around to seeing it! And when I DO see it, I’m sure I’m going to crave a tin of those yummy spices.

    Take care Aimee!!

  16. My husband and I saw Slumdog Millionaire last weekend, and I have to say, it is incredible. The music, the cinematography, the story, the soul of it all….it was addictive, just like I imagine these spices to be.

  17. You're not alone in being out of the loop with regards to movies. I hardly go myself & I don't watch TV at all. So thanks for passing along the movie info.

    Your cornish hen looks wonderful.

    Please don't include me in your contest. I'm afraid if I were to be lucky enough to win, it would go unused. I'm not there yet in my cooking or baking 🙂

  18. Oh my, These spices like art in a tin…..I am so excited to try them ; )

  19. Loved the movie. I’m definitely going to look into the spice blend as I’m a fan of anything with rose essence. Thanks for posting about it!

  20. That bird looks delicious and so does the spice blend.

    I really went to your blog today to tell you I made your bagel recipe yesterday. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was to shape the bagels. I am also unspeakably proud to have made bagels. So are my boys who are 6 and 3. Next time I may even let them help.


  21. This would be very cool to try. I would love it! Thanks for the opportunity.

  22. i’ve been so wanting to see that movie! and that spice blend, i’d love to try it!

  23. I discovered your blog the other day and I am so glad I did. The idea of cooking with any spice blend that contains rose petals is so intriguing. I cannot wait to see the movie also by the way.

  24. I must be livin’ under a rock cuz I’ve not heard of this movie yet!
    However, the spice blend would be great… I’m all about the smells!

  25. Beautiful blend. I just want to set it out in a lovely cut glass compote!

  26. the spice blend looks fantastic! as to the movies,i`m starting work again soon for the film festival here, so at last i shall be seeing some films on the big screen:-)

  27. I don’t suppose they’ll deliver to Ireland if I don’t win? This sounds fantastic and Slumdog Millionaire is a great movie, a feast for the eyes is right!!!

  28. The first half of the movie I spent feeling like I was going to be sick. Good movie, but very emotionally intense!

  29. I am reading this while cooking some chicken with their Berbere blend. Nice coincidence.

  30. I hope p de vienne knows how much advertising you are doing for him! Every time you talk about him, it makes me want to go try his products!

  31. That spice blend is beautiful and sounds extraordinary. So glad you enjoyed the movie.

  32. Oooh, I love it. I can only imagine how delicious this was.

    I have yet to see that movie, but I want to! When I do, we’ll have a chat.

  33. This looks delicious and I always love trying new herb mixtures. Thanks for all the great recipes. I love them.

  34. Last time I went to the movies with my sweetie was to see Spiderman, the first of the trilogy! Yes, quite a while ago… The dish you made sounds worthy of a fancy restaurant, what a beautiful presentation.

  35. Sounds great! (The movie and the spices) I’d love to just open the tin and let the smells waft throughout the house. Maybe while watching the DVD? Not sure I can get to the big screen.

  36. I will definitely have to wait to rent the movie (single mom, never ever gets to see a grown-up movie!). The spice blend is beautiful, I might have a hard time using it for cooking!

  37. Yum, yes please. This dinner was exceptional, even for you, A. Can we babysit again sometime soon??

  38. Slumdog is totally on my list to see. Another great film set in India is Monsoon Wedding. I love how it shows middle class Indian families—something rarely seen in films—and how they straddle the modern world and ancient traditions and culture.

    The spice blend sounds fabulous too, by the way.

  39. I love to try new culinary treats Aimee. My cooking has been rather mundane lately so need to be “spiced” up:D

  40. Oooh – that chicken looks so perfect!

  41. Aimée,
    Both the cornish hens and the spice blend look like beautiful pieces of art. A feast to the eyes as well as to the palate, I am sure!
    I’ll definitely have to try out the recipe, but I can’t do it without the spice blend. Hint! Hint!
    I’ll have to make a point of seeing the movie before the Oscars!Barb

  42. That movie is the next on my list! That spice blend looks amazing… must have smelt even better!

  43. That’s awesome that this is you! I couldn’t believe my eyes, hahah. It’s nice to put a blog to a face. I had a good time this evening, thanks for continually inviting me out for the coffee house!

    P.S I LOVE Indian food. I came home to find my mom had made aloo parathas. Yummy.

  44. i agree what a great movie. I came home from the movie and had to have butter chicken and naan.

    Love Your Blog



  46. That movie sounds great! The spice blend looks amazing!

  47. Thank you so much!! I feel lucky so today. I’ll send you a message on Facebook.

  48. That movie sounds good! Spice box and spice blend both look great.
    I also deal in Brass spice boxes.

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