Director Paul Mayeda Berges adapts author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni magic realist tale about an enchanting Indian orphan who has leaned to harness the magical properties of spices. Orphaned by regional strife in her homeland of India, Tilo (Aishwarya Rai) is subsequently kidnapped by a vicious gang of bandits. A daring escape is quick to follow, and soon after washing up on mysterious shores the traumatized girl is sheltered by a benevolent old woman (Zohra Segal) who reveals to her the remarkable powers of common spices. Later, after moving to Oakland, California and opening her own spice shop, Tilo is compelled to follow three strict stipulations is she is to retain her ability to harness these magnificent powers: she must never use the powers for her own gain, she can never venture outside of her store, and she must never make contact with the skin of another person. When a handsome architect (Dylan McDermott) crashes his motorcycle just outside of the shop and the kindly proprietor rushes to his aid, the instant chemistry between the pair soon finds Tilo's resolve put to the ultimate test. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
The book Mistress of Spices was written by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (official web site) and a couple of reviews.
As a strictly fictional account the story was OK, but I hope no one takes anything said as a reality. My wife was nearly offended by the story line of the "God of Spices". While it does have Hindu customs it is not based on any context of Hinduism.
So thus rating: 1 (/5)