Sita Jebelian’s Homemade Madzoon (Yogurt)

Any time is madzoon time. You could buy it from the store, but why would you when it’s so easy to make at home? Madzoon can be made on the stovetop or in a yogurt-making machine. We wrote about our homemade recipe – a stovetop preparation – a while back, then received this super-easy method of making madzoon in the microwave oven from Sita Jebelian from Toronto, Canada. Thanks Sita!

Sita wrote:

“I was just reading your homemade madzoun and I thought I’d send you my own recipe that is easier; there is no stirring and it ALWAYS is successful. And you just use milk (any kind, even skim milk) of course, you can add half and half if you want more fat.
My (Sita’s) Madzoon recipe:
I use 8 cups of milk in a French corningware.
Put the milk in microwave for 17 minutes on HIGH
Take it out and let it rest for exactly 30 minutes, then add your 3 tablespoons of (starter) madzoun** (I first stir the madzoun in a cup with a little bit of the hot milk)
Cover with a lid and lots of towels and leave it on my counter overnight. Next morning it is ready to go to fridge. No need of paper towels!
It works!”

**Robyn’s Note: You must have a small amount of ‘starter madzoon’ in order to make madzoon (kind of a Catch – 22!). So save some from a previous batch, or buy a small container of plain madzoon (yogurt) containing active-culture, otherwise it won’t work.

My attempt at making Sita’s homemade madzoon recipe went like this:
I bought 2 half-gallons (8 cups) of 1 % milk only to discover my largest microwave-safe bowl would only hold 4 cups. OK, that meant I was only going make 4 cups-worth.
Then I wondered if I’d still need to microwave the milk for 17 minutes, as mentioned in Sita’s recipe, since I’d be making half the amount. After doing some research, I found a microwave recipe that said to heat 4 cups of milk at HIGH power for about 9 minutes, or until it reached a temperature of 175° F.

Here’s how my preparation actually went:
*I placed the 4 cups of milk in the microwave-safe bowl.
*Heated it for 17 minutes, because that’s how long it took for the 4 cups of milk to actually reach 175°F in my microwave. A layer of “skin” formed on the surface of the milk which I removed and discarded.
*Allowed the madzoon to rest for 30 minutes.
*Mixed 3 Tbsp. of starter madzoon with a little of the heated milk (which was now slightly cooled, thus preventing the starter madzoon from curdling).
*Stirred the starter madzoon into the large bowl of heated milk.
*Covered the top of the bowl with plastic wrap; covered the entire bowl with a large towel; left the bowl on the counter overnight.

Next day, with fingers crossed, I unwrapped the bowl.
I unveiled a bowl of somewhat thin, but creamy homemade madzoon. It tasted great, but the madzoon came out thinner than we like.
A simple solution to thicken it is to place some madzoon in a cheesecloth (or coffee filter)-lined strainer over a bowl. Place the bowl with strainer in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the bowl. What’s left in the lined strainer will be thick, yummy madzoon!

Would I make microwave madzoon again? You bet! But next time I’ll use milk containing a little more fat.

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  1. Ara June 29, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I have a yogurt maker (which you can buy from most Indian stores, or probably online) and I have used it to make yogurt. Nowadays, though, I just buy Trader Joe's European Style Yogurt or Pavel's Russian Yogurt from Whole Foods. Both are comparable to the homemade and much less hassle. And the price is about the same. I know, I'm lazy 🙂

  2. Anonymous April 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Hi, an Armenian family in Los Angeles once gave me a jar of wonderful Madzoon. I made yogurt from it for 20 years. Finally I lost the culture. How can I get another starter?
    B.Conrad San Diego, CA

    1. Robyn April 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      If I run out of yogurt to start a new batch, I purchase plain yogurt with live, active cultures. An alternative is to use freeze-dried yogurt starter, such as 'Yolife Yogurt Starter'. I've never tried it, but some use it with success.

  3. Bernice L. Osmond October 23, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Hey, I always love to make yogurt. Currently, I am looking for a good yogurt maker. Because my old one is already damage. I shared it with my cousin she suggests me to visit here and told I found here the huge collection of yogurt maker. If you had more insight into it, I would much appreciate it. Thank you.

  4. Bob October 23, 2018 at 2:48 pm


    For what it's worth when I make my madzoon (in 2-qt batches),instead of putting the somewhat cooled mixture into a microwave safe bowl I dispense it immediately into quart canning jars and letting it "work" in them, with the lids resting on top rather than tightly sealed, and covered in a towel. After about 12 hours I have madzoon! I seal the lids and put them in the fridge, ready to be eaten.

    I also use whole milk, no reduced fat. The final product has plenty of body and great flavor. No extra liquid.


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