CURRY-STUFF, s. Onions, chillies, &c.; the usual material for preparing curry, otherwise mussalla (q.v.), represented in England by the preparations called curry-powder and curry-paste.

1860.—“…with plots of esculents and curry-stuffs of every variety, onions, chillies, yams, cassavas, and sweet potatoes.”—Tennent’s Ceylon, i. 463.

CUSBAH, s. Ar.—H. kasba, kasaba; the chief place of a pergunnah (q.v.). 1548.—“And the caçabe of Tanaa is rented at 4450 pardaos.”—S. Botelho, Tombo, 150.

[c. 1590.—“In the fortieth year of his Majesty’s reign, his dominions consisted of one hundred and five Sircars, sub-divided into two thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven kusbahs.”—Ayeen, tr. Gladwin, ii. 1; Jarrett, ii. 115.]

1644.—“On the land side are the houses of the Vazador (?) or Possessor of the Casabe, which is as much as to say the town or aldea of Mombaym (Bombay). This town of Mombaym is a small and scattered affair.”—Bacarro, MS. fol. 227.

c. 1844–45.—“In the centre of the large Cusbah of Streevygoontum exists an old mud fort, or rather wall of about 20 feet high, surrounding some 120 houses of a body of people calling themselves Kotie Vellalas,—that is ‘Fort Vellalas.’ Within this wall no police officer, warrant or Peon ever enters.…The females are said to be kept in a state of great degradation and ignorance. They never pass without the walls alive; when dead they are carried out by night in sacks.”—Report by Mr. E. B. Thomas, Collector of Tinnevelly, quoted in Lord Stanhope’s Miscellanies, 2nd Series, 1872, p. 132.

CUSCUSS, CUSS, s. Pers.—H. khaskhas. The roots of a grass [called in N. India sentha or tin,] which abounds in the drier parts of India, Anatherum muricatum (Beauv.), Andropogon muricatus (Retz), used in India during the hot dry winds to make screens, which are kept constantly wet, in the window openings, and the fragrant evaporation from which greatly cools the house (see TATTY). This device seems to be ascribed by Abul Fazl to the invention of Akbar. These roots are well known in France by the name vetyver, which is the Tam. name vettiveru, ‘the root which is dug up.’ In some of the N. Indian vernaculars khaskhas is ‘a poppy-head’; [but this is a different word, Skt. khaskhasa, and compare P. khashkhash].

c. 1590.—“But they (the Hindus) were notorious for the want of cold water, the intolerable heat of their climate.…His Majesty remedied all these evils and defects. He taught them how to cool water by the help of saltpetre.…He ordered mats to be woven of a cold odoriferous root called Khuss…and when wetted with water on the outside, those within enjoy a pleasant cool air in the height of summer.”—Ayeen (Gladwin, 1800), ii. 196; [ed. Jarrett, iii. 9].

1663.—“Kas kanays.” See quotation under TATTY.

1810.—“The Kuss-Kuss…when fresh, is rather fragrant, though the scent is somewhat terraceous.”—Williamson, V. M. i. 235.

1824.—“We have tried to keep our rooms cool with ‘tatties,’ which are mats formed of the Kuskos, a peculiar sweet-scented grass.…”—Heber, ed. 1844, i. 59.
It is curious that the coarse grass which covers the more naked parts of the Islands of the Indian Archipelago appears to be called kusu-kusu (Wallace, 2nd ed. ii. 74). But we know not if there is any community of origin in these names.

[1832.—“The sirrakee (sirki) and sainturh (sentha) are two specimens of one genus of jungle grass, the roots of which are called secundah (sirkanda) or khus-khus.”—Mrs. Meer Hasan Ali, Observations, &c., ii. 208.]

In the sense of poppy-seed or poppy-head, this word is P.; De Orta says Ar.; [see above.] 1563.—“…at Cambaiete, seeing in the market that they were selling poppy-heads big enough to fill a canada, and also some no bigger than ours, and asking the name, I was told that it was caxcax (cashcash)—and that in fact is the name in Arabic—and they told me that of these poppies was made opium (amfião), cuts being made in the poppy-head, so that the opium exudes.”—Garcia De Orta, f. 155.

1621.—“The 24th of April public proclamation was made in Ispahan by the King’s order…that on pain of death, no one should drink cocnur, which is a liquor made from the husk of the capsule of opium, called by them khash-khash.”—P. della Valle, ii. 209; [cocnur is P. koknar].

  By PanEris using Melati.

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