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Exclusive: Nadiya Hussain reveals sweet tradition she's passed down to her children

The celebrity chef is British Bangladeshi

Sharnaz Shahid

Behind every great chef is another great chef. At least, that might be the case for Nadiya Hussain and her family! Since winning Great British Bake Off in 2015, the mum-of-three has landed various TV shows and incredible book deals - so it's no wonder her children share her passion.

During an exclusive chat with HELLO!, the 36-year-old - who shares sons Musa, 14, Dawud, 13, and daughter, Maryam, ten, with husband Abdal - revealed that her kids are now running the kitchen amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

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"What I've loved about having them at home is that they've actually become really confident in the house," she shared. "They don't rely on me entirely to do everything for them. Homeschooling has not been that bad."

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The TV star added: "They just go off and do their own thing. They come downstairs, and they make lunch themselves - I don't have to do it."

Nadiya, whose parents emigrated from Bangladesh to Luton, often cooks a variety of cuisines for her family - but her kids have a particular fondness for Bangladeshi food - a trait the celebrity chef is proud of.

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Nadiya has opened up about her children's cooking skills

"We kind of vary between Bangladeshi dishes and we will mix it up. Our go-to is Thai/Chinese. You name it, we mix it up," she explained. "The kids love Jerk chicken but since we spent more time at home, they have become absolutely obsessed with cooking Bangladeshi dishes."

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Of some specialities, Nadiya elaborated: "The kids love making Handesh [aka Teler Pitha, Bangladeshi sweet dish]. They love making Sheera [type of dessert], they love all of that.

"I love cooking fish heads we're big fans of awful things like chicken hearts or liver or lungs. They're like they want to look at it and feel it; it's like having a sensory play for them. They know that they get to eat it at the end and I love that because it's like we've gone a complete full circle."

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One of Nadiya's sons pictured with his chicken and potato curry during lockdown

On the importance of keeping in touch with her roots, the doting mum revealed: "When I want to teach them how to cook lots of different things from different parts of the world. They've actually gone completely the other way around and said, 'No we want to learn about our culture and our food.'

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"I really applaud that because they're not ashamed of it. They don't care that it stinks sometimes. And they love that, they never really embraced that - so we are cooking lots and lots of Bangladeshi dishes."

Asked about how she deals with cooking with dried fish at home, Nadiya explained how they have fitted a separate kitchen in the garage to deal with any strong food smells.

"We cook it in the garage," she laughed. "I have an induction hob in the garage and I open both doors in the garage and then I cook it. I also have a fan behind me so the smell doesn't stay in the gym. Otherwise, if it's in the gym equipment, my husband's like, 'Did the cat die in here or something? Because it stinks.'"

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The TV star is a doting mum of three children

Cooking aside, Nadiya revealed she cannot wait to enjoy having date nights with her husband Abdal, once lockdown is over. "That's a no-go," she said when quizzed about finding some time alone with her partner. "I want to say that it's almost impossible because the boys are a lot older now, so their bedtimes are a lot later."

But once the UK comes out of lockdown, the mum-of-three will never say no to a date again.

"I've got to say one thing I've learned is that when we used to have date nights before, we would go out once a month - if that - we'd go out once a month together and even then I would be riddled with guilt," she shared.

"I would feel so bad for leaving the kids behind or leaving them at my sisters' or leaving them with a babysitter. I feel really guilty and that's what I said to my husband. I said never again, 'Never again, I'm never going to feel guilty again.'

"The time we spend together is so important for us to create a happy home for our kids. That means spending time together without the children and that is so valuable. I've definitely learned that this time around and that's quite nice because I still quite like my husband which isn't that bad, I think that's pretty good."

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Nadiya has teamed up with Next for their latest shoe edit

Meanwhile, Nadiya has found herself busy during the latest lockdown. She has partnered with Next to curate the 'Nadiya Forever Comfort Shoe Edit', featuring her favourite pieces from their footwear collection.

"I kind of like the affordability and comfort of these shoes," she noted. "I remember as soon as I had children, we would naturally just go to Next to buy their shoes, clothes, and things like that, because you get really good quality for a really good price. They have the styles and colours. I love shoes, so to be able to do a shoe edit with them is pretty cool."

But lockdown has meant no heels for Nadiya. "I don't think I’ve worn shoes properly for the past year," she added. "But it does make you realise actually, especially after having children, it's hard to find - well for me as a mum - I struggled to find comfortable shoes that don't suit my style and that's been the tricky thing."

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