Mix the yeast, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 cups of all purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. Add very warm (about 120-130 degrees F) water to make a wet dough. Add enough flour so the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes. Cover with a warm damp cloth for about an hour.
In the meantime, mix together the ground beef, 2 tsp. salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cumin in another mixing bowl. Divide into 4 balls and press into patties.
The dough should have risen in about an hour. Punch it down and divide into 10 portions. Divide 2 of those into halves and combine them with four of the portions, so you have 8 portions with 2 sizes.
In the meantime, heat a nonstick heavy skillet over high heat.
Press and push each portion into circles. The smaller circles should be slightly larger than the size of the patties, and the larger patties should be large enough to cover the patties plus slightly more than their heights.
Starting with the larger circles, lay a thin layer of onion, then press a pattie on top of the onion. Press down as much as possible to embed the onion and some of the pattie into the dough. Gather up the sides to wrap around the pattie.
Add another thin layer of onion. Lay a smaller circle of dough on top of each pattie. Gather as much dough as possible from the sides to seal the entire packet, using a wet finger to seal each one well. Press down on the packet to embed the filling into the dough.
Turn the heat to medium and dry fry each packet for about 3-5 minutes. The bottom should be brown and not burnt. Turn and dry fry the other side for another 3-5 minutes.
If the packet is sealed well, there won't be any runoff, and like a pasty, it can be eaten straight from the stove or at room temperature.
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