Rice sells itself, right? After all, around a third of the world's population eats the stuff every day. But perhaps that's what makes it tough to grab people's attention.

Which is presumably why Tilda has pulled out all the stops on the new commercial for its Pure Basmati, a sprawling epic dubbed 'Stolen from the Past'.

The ad, which has been showing on Asian channels including Zee TV and Star, begins with a curry house waiter taking an order for basmati - but the kitchen has run out. The cook phones his supplier - a Victorian gent.

Via telegram, horseback and even messenger hawk - a major upgrade on the bog-standard carrier pigeon - we cross deserts, oceans and centuries, back to when basmati was first grown in the foothills of the Himalayas (it says here).

The sumptuous-looking ad visually echoes Lawrence of Arabia and The English Patient more than the Bollywood aesthetic that might have been more obvious and unquestionably gives you that 'premium' vibe.

The only false note? This column has never been wished 'bon appetit' in an Indian restaurant.