The aim of this Letter is to present an efficient and reliable treatment of the homotopy perturbation method (HPM) for nonlinear partial differential equations with fractional time derivative. The fractional derivative is described in the Caputo sense. The modified algorithm provides approximate solutions in the form of convergent series with easily computable components. The obtained results are in good agreement with the existing ones in open literature and it is shown that the technique introduced here is robust, efficient and easy to implement. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.